HC Deb 28 July 1896 vol 43 cc808-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General (1) whether he is aware that much dissatisfaction exists in trading circles owing to the fact that the minimum charge for a packet of patterns or samples is one penny, and that the circulation of patterns and samples is thereby rendered expensive; (2) whether he has observed that it costs an American or Japanese merchant no more to send a packet of patterns or samples to this country than it costs an Englishman to send a similar packet from Liverpool to Birkenhead or from Leeds to Bradford; and (3) whether he will confer a much-desired boon on British trading enterprise by assimilating the minimum charge for patterns and samples to that prescribed to book-post matter, namely, one halfpenny for two ounces?


The Postmaster General is not aware of the accuracy of the statement in the first paragraph. As the Foreign Sample Rate is the same as the Inland Sample Rate, it costs no more to send a sample from America or Japan to this country than to send a sample from one part of England to another; but it also costs no more to send a sample from this country to America or Japan, so that the British merchant is not subjected to any disadvantage. The question of adopting the minimum rate of one halfpenny for samples has been fully considered; but such a rate would involve a considerable loss of revenue, and the Postmaster General cannot see his way to its adoption. The hon. Member, who apparently objects to the Foreign and Inland Sample Rate being identical, had a Question upon the Paper yesterday objecting to the Foreign and Inland postage for invoices being different.