HC Deb 09 March 1896 vol 38 c430

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that, owing to the imposition of a registration fee of 2d., immense numbers of letters containing postal orders, and other valuable documents are posted unregistered, to the injury of the postal revenue, and that this fact tempts the dishonestly inclined to the commission of theft; whether a clerk requires more than 15 seconds to register a letter, and whether the subsequent dealings with it necessitates the exaction of treble the ordinary postage; and whether he will recommend the imposition of a uniform registration fee of 1d.


The Postmaster General is unable to say what number of letters containing postal orders, cheques, and other valuable documents are posted unregistered, but whatever advantage might arise in the shape of greater security to a larger number of letters from a reduction of the registration fee, the postal revenue would certainly suffer, as the present fee of 2d. is believed to be not more than sufficient to cover the extra cost and risk incurred in dealing with registered letters. As to the time occupied in the treatment of such letters, it must be borne in mind that it is not only at the office of origin and at the place of delivery that special care and attention are required, but that a hand-to-hand check is maintained at every stage through the whole course of post. The Postmaster General is not prepared to recommend the reduction of the fee to 1d.