HC Deb 13 June 1893 vol 13 c887

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he can state the estimated annual addition to postal expenditure which would result from the institution for letters to the Colonies of Ocean Penny Postage, that is, the system under which a letter addressed to a British Colony or Dependency, and bearing 1d. stamp, would be conveyed by water all the way from this country to the colony of destination; and whether, in case of the inability of the Department to furnish such information, he will accept the estimates of experts on the question, so as to give the House of Commons an opportunity of discussing the policy of Ocean Penny Postage?


I fear it is not possible to give figures which would show the effect on postal expenditure of the proposed change. In the case of the mails to Australia, for instance, it is impossible to say what proportion of the mails which now go overland would be diverted to the all sea route, and in other cases there would be similar difficulties. I do not know who are the experts indicated in the question; but if the hon. Member refers to himself, I fear I cannot undertake to accept his figures as conclusive upon results which depend upon unknown quantities. I would remind the hon. Member that the question of Penny Postage to India and the Colonies, including the question of "Ocean Penny Postage" was fully discussed in the House on the 28th April last.