My right hon. Friend has already done so. I would refer the hon. Member to his reply of 12th November to my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding).
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the terms of reference which have been published do not allow any review of the activities of the Post Office outside the scope of the Post Office Act 1969? Will he undertake to publish new terms of reference that allow an objective review of the benefits or otherwise of the continuation of the Post Office monopoly in its present form, and the advantages or otherwise of allowing private enterprise to compete with the Post Office in certain of its activities, stating whether this would be to the public benefit?
We have heard that one before. The terms of reference were drawn up in consultation with a number of people, of whom it was the Post Office Users' National Council who made the original recommendation to us.
On the question of the monopoly, I can only give the answer that I have given from this Box on many occasions before—that if one wants to have a wide-ranging national service, this can be provided only by the Post Office, whereas the groups which the hon. Gentleman may have in mind can provide for only a limited profit-making service.
While we are on the subject of the Post Office, may I ask my hon. Friend why he will not give a general direction to the Post Office to allow old-age pensioners to send their Christmas cards at about 4p or 5p? Does he realise that it is impossible for old-age pensioners to send their Christmas cards at the present rate?