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Inland Letter Rate

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1957.

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Mr. Vane:

asked the Postmaster-General how much revenue he estimates that he would lose if the proposed new charge for inland letters were to be 3d. for two oz. and 1½d. for the next two oz. instead of the scale set out in the General Post Office paper of 18th July.

Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South

asked the Postmaster-General what would be the estimated cost to the Revenue of his Department of making the new charge for letters 3d. for 2 oz. instead of only 1 oz.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

The Answer is nearly £3 million in a full year.

Mr. Vane:

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that this, again, is something that may be worth while? The proposed increase in postal charges is not merely the halfpenny that it was put up; in fact it means that a letter weighing two ounces will cost 4½d. instead of 2½d., and is likely to encourage less use of the service. Whereas Members of Parliament may be pleased to see their postbags getting smaller, I do not think that it is for the good of the country.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

I appreciate my hon. Friend's point, but I am bound to say that, according to the Daily Telegraph, one can for one ounce get in 11 octavo sheets, and experiments that I have made show that it is possible to get in 16 octavo sheets for under an ounce. I can place samples in the Library for hon. Members to see. The main point is that with this increase in postal charges there is no need, if people are so minded, for a reduction in their letter-writing activities.