§ MR. BRIGHT
said, that in the absence of his right hon. Colleague (Mr. M. Gibson) he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question relative to the subject of a reduction in the rate of postage between this and foreign countries. The project to which he alluded was generally known by the name of the Ocean Penny Postage, but which was not to interfere with the charge for internal postage which any other countries might choose to adopt. The emigration now going on from this and other countries rendered this subject more important than it had been before; and with regard to Ireland, he thought that more than one-third of all the letters that crossed the Atlantic between Great Britain and America were connected with Ireland—a very remarkable circumstance; and when a large proportion of our population was settling in other countries, it was desirable that the greatest possible communication should be allowed, looking to the effect of such friendly intercourse in strengthening the guarantees for international peace. His right hon. Colleague, therefore, wished him to give notice in his behalf, that if he should be, as there was some hope that he would be, in that House in another Session, he should bring this question before the House, either by direct Motion, or by moving for a Committee of Inquiry. And he would only ask the right hon. Gentleman opposite, if he had any time during the recess to bestow on such a subject, whether he would be good enough to turn his attention to it, as many petitions had been presented in favour of the 1319 project, which he believed was one that concerned the comfort and social intercourse of a large class of our fellow-countrymen. And if the Ocean Penny Postage system were adopted, he believed that the immediate loss to the revenue would be as speedily made up by the increase of correspondence as it had been in the case of the establishment of the present internal penny postage system.
§ The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the recess, he feared, would be very much occupied; but the Government would endeavour to consider the Ocean Penny Postage project, as well as the discontent of Tasmania relative to transportation.