§ MR. T. FRY (Darlington)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General if he can arrange for letters, which have been unstamped or insufficiently paid, to be charged only the ordinary fee instead of double, which fine now falls on the innocent persons who receive them?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. A. MORLEY,) Nottingham, E.
All Post Offices in the world recognise the importance of securing the full prepayment of letters, and it is found to be the fairest and most effective way of discouraging insufficient prepayment to charge double the deficiency on delivery. The practice of charging a fixed fine, in addition to the actual deficiency, was tried for many years by certain Administrations; but within the last year or two that practice has been finally abandoned, and the practice of doubling the deficiency is now uniformly adopted. The collection of the charge on delivery imposes additional labour on the postman, and delays the delivery of the letters which he carries, and I cannot hold out any prospect of a change in the direction indicated in the question of the hon. Member.