§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the United Kingdom is the only country within the Postal Union which makes a charge for the material of postcards over and above the price of the stamp impressed; and whether, by way of preparing for the total abolition of such charge, he will recommend that the thin postcards shall be sold at their face or stamp value?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir JOHN HIBBERT, Oldham)
No, Sir. The United Kingdom compares favourably with other countries of the Postal Union in the price of inland postcards. Holland makes a direct charge for the material, while in France the card costs 10 centimes, and even in Germany 20 cards cost the equivalent of a shilling, as against eleven pence in this country. I cannot recommend that the material of the postcard should be supplied to the public gratuitously. Among other reasons it would be unfair to the private 19 stationer, who at present does a considerable trade in private cards.
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he has any objection to state the percentage of gross profit on the prime cost of postcards, as delivered by the contractors, which is made by the Department on the sale of such postcards to the public; and the percentage of cost, in relation to the prime cost, incurred by the Department in handling and distributing the postcards to the public, as referred to in the Treasury Minute of 6th August, 1894?
§ SIR JOHN HIBBERT
I am sorry that I cannot give the information asked for. The answer would depend upon figures which are confidential as between the Government and the contractor, and which, as regards cost of distribution and handling, are extremely complicated.