HC Deb 31 March 1887 vol 313 cc76-7

asked the Postmaster General, Whether a saving of £107,000 per annum has been made by the new contract just concluded for the conveyance of the Indian Mails; whether the total revenue from the Indian Mail Service is only £55,000 a-year; and, whether he proposes to avail himself of this saving (under which, as compared with the previous cost of the service, the whole of the mails to India and the East might be carried free), to make a substantial reduction in the rates of postage, approximating them, as far as possible, to the rates from France and Germany, which are only half the rates charged on letters posted for India in England?

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

There will be a saving, as the hon. Member supposes, of £107,000 a-year under the new contract for the India and China Mail Service, which comes into operation early next year. The sum of £55,000 a-year is the estimated amount of revenue derived from that portion of the postage which is proper to the Contract Packet Service. As to any reduction of postage rates, consequent on the saving under the new contract, that is a question which it will not rest with me to determine. I may add that, even under the terms of the new contract, there will still be a considerable loss on the Indian Postal Service.