HC Deb 03 April 1969 vol 781 c629
3. Mr. Kenneth Baker

asked the Postmaster-General what is the financial policy regarding the loss-making activities of the Post Office; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stonehouse

I am considering the position.

Mr. Baker

The Postmaster-General may accept that many of my hon. Friends welcome his recent frankness in persuading his colleagues to face up to some home truths, but why cannot that same frankness extend to the loss-making Post Office services—telegrams, money orders, and postal orders and the Giro—which are losing £10 million a year? What does he propose to do about that?

Mr. Stonehouse

We have been very frank. We have revealed information about those parts of our service which are a social service to the community, and this has not been done in the same detail before. We have done that in order that the facts can be identified so as to help us to consider what is the best way of dealing with the problem.

Mr. Bryan

Does the Postmaster-General realise that members of the pub-lice are somewhat puzzled about his statements? At one time he said that there would be no rises in the tariff during this year, and now we are told that he is reconsidering the parcels service, and so on. Perhaps he will clarify the position for us.

Mr. Stonehouse

The Parliamentary Question which I answered a few weeks ago referred to the two-tier service. I gave an assurance that in this financial year there would be no increase there, but I gave no such assurance about those parts of the service which make a loss.