§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether he will take into consideration the expediency of reducing the fee now charged for registered telegraphic messages in provincial towns to one-half, with a view to increase the revenue by augmenting their number, and lessening the charge to each individual who may wish to register?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER) (Wolverhampton, E.)
It is found that the fee now charged does not cover the cost to the Department and the loss of Revenue by the curtailment of the address. At the same time, the use of abbreviated addresses leads not only to delay in the delivery of messages with abbreviated addresses, but also necessarily causes delay in the delivery of messages containing a full address. The Postmaster General desires me to say that the use of abbreviated addresses is detrimental to the general public service, interferes with the regular working of the Telegraph Service, and largely increases its cost. Since the introduction of the 6d. tariff the practice of registering addresses has so enormously increased, and the Departmental difficulties which have arisen have been so great, that it is a question with the Postmaster General whether, after a certain date, it would not be well to abolish the use of abbreviated addresses, at all events for inland messages; and he cannot, therefore, lessen the present charge.