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Problems of 2 NZEF



At any one stage during the war, the postal store in Cairo would be clogged up with newspapers from New Zealand, most of them already many months old owing to delays in transportation. Space on ships was at a premium, and newspapers were low in the order of priority. To attempt to readdress this mass of papers, in a way similar to that employed with letters, was manifestly a waste of time for the postal staff; and if a paper was unclaimed at the last address known, it was handed over to hospitals. Moreover, it was common knowledge that there was a great deal of duplication in the despatch of papers and journals, in that many correspondents in New Zealand might send the same paper to the one man, and that many copies of the one paper (the Weekly News for instance) might be received in the one small unit. One way and another a lot of the papers became undeliverable. To achieve a satisfactory answer would appear to require a degree of centralisation in New Zealand that would be unworkable. From time to time we used to ask men to let their correspondents know if they really wanted the papers that were sent to them, and possibly some did; but the accumulation in the postal store continued to the end. It might be possible for the New Zealand authorities to produce a paper covering the whole country, and to send it to units in bulk; but it is realised that this is not quite the same thing as the despatch of a local paper by a friend. One thing is sure – that the Postal Corps would welcome anything that reduced the enormous bulk of newspapers.

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