§ MR. HADFIELD
said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the Government have considered the policy of extending the system of cheap postage to all Foreign and friendly Governments willing to reciprocate in this convenience, and to bear their proportion of the cost of the same; and, whether any measures are being taken for such an arrangement?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The important subject upon which the hon. Gentleman has asked a Question has much engaged the attention of the Government and of their predecessors. Within these few weeks we have signed a postal convention with the United States, under which after the 1st of January the postage between the two countries will be reduced from 1s. to 6d. for each half-ounce letter. I may also say that of the numerous proposals made for the reduction of foreign postage the vast majority have emanated from this country, and there has been no proposal 1187 made upon a tolerably fair basis that has ever been refused by us. Negotiations with Peru, Chili, and other Western States of America are at this moment going on with the object of reducing the postage, but I cannot say that anything very definite has been concluded in these cases. Within the last two or three years the postage between this country and Sweden has been reduced from 11d. to 6d., with Denmark from 8d. to 4d., and with Holland from 8d. to 3d. That will show that the subject has very much engaged the attention of Government, and there are at this moment before us, and under the consideration of other Governments, proposals which may lead to still more extensive results.