§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware that the officials in the various post offices are required to fill up long and elaborate forms in connection with each express letter, and that the messenger delivering an express letter is required to obtain a receipt for it at the residence of the addressee; and whether he will provide for a simplification of the system, which shall save the time of the officials and obviate the necessity of giving receipts for express letters, so that the procedure shall be assimilated as far as possible to that observed with respect to telegrams, for which, on delivery, no receipt is demanded? I may add, is it not a fact that there are some 13 entries before the transaction is completed?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
One form only is used in connection with each express letter, and in it the following entries are necessarily made:—(1) of the address of the letter; (2) of the distance and the fee due for the same and for weight (if necessary); and (3) of the number and time of starting of the messenger taking the letter. The name and address of the sender are also entered, if he has no objection. These entries need not be either long or elaborate. The messenger is not required to obtain a receipt for the letter on delivering it. He is instructed to ask that the time of delivery may be entered in the form and attested by the signature of the recipient or of someone else at the place of address merely as a check against delay or dishonesty on his part; but the recipient need not, of course, do this unless he likes. The 341 check is useful both to the public and the Department, and no single person has ever complained of it; on the contrary, it is believed that tradesmen and others appreciate it as affording proof of delivery.