§ MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)
beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the estimated loss to the Revenue that was due to the reduction in the rates of the Indian and Colonial postage during that portion of the last financial year during which the reduced rates were in operation?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
I believe it was about £25,000.
§ MR. SUMMERS
I beg to ask the Postmaster General what would be the additional loss to the Revenue if the postage rate to India and the Colonies were reduced from 2½d. to d.; and if he can explain to the House the basis on which his estimate is framed?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES, Cambridge University)
Besides a loss of revenue to the extent of £105,000 a year already incurred in reducing to 2½d. the postage on letters to India and the Colonies, it is estimated that an immediate additional loss of £75,000 a year would result from a reduction from 2½d. to 1d. This estimate is based on the amount of correspondence passing between this country and the Colonies, and shown by the latest Returns on official record. It is not, however, practicable to estimate the contingent loss that might result from any considerable increase of correspondence.
§ MR. SUMMERS
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in this calculation, he estimates the cost of sending each letter from London to Dover at 1d.?
§ MR. RAIKES
The estimate has been based on a comparison from the Revenue derived from a 2d. postage and a reduction to 1d.