HC Deb 09 September 1886 vol 308 cc1744-5
MR. SAMUEL MONTAGU (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)

asked the Postmaster General, If his attention has been called to the fact that, under existing postal arrangements, most Continental letters are carried at a less cost than is the case with letters posted from this country; whether he is aware that a letter from Russia is carried to any place within the Postal Union for seven kopecks, or less than 1¾d., and from Austria for ten kreutzers, or less than 2d., as against 2½d. if posted from the United Kingdom; whether any compensation is obtained in settling accounts; and, whether steps will be taken to obtain for this Country a more favourable arrangement?


The postage to and from countries which, like Great Britain, Russia, and Austria, belong to the Postal Union is fixed by the International Convention in French currency. The single letter rate is 25 centimes; but the Convention allows of fractional variations, upwards or downwards, to meet the case of countries which have not the franc for their monetary unit. The equivalent of 25 centimes in British currency is a fraction under 2½d., which is recognized by the Treaty as the English equivalent. The sums of seven kopecks and 10 kreutzer are the sums admitted under Treaty as the Russian and Austrian equivalents for 25 centimes. As, under the Postal Union system, every country keeps the whole postage collected by it, the question of compensation in settling accounts does not arise. The present arrange- ments, laid down by the Postal Congress, work on the whole satisfactorily, and it is not proposed to alter them.