HC Deb 23 March 1896 vol 38 cc1595-6
MR. H. KIMBER (Wandsworth)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, why the charges for telegrams between this country and British Guiana are so exceptionally heavy as compared with other Colonies, the charge for a message to this Crown Colony being 12s. 2d. per word, whereas to Canada and the United States the charge is 1s., to India 3s. 9d., to Australia 4s. 7d., to New Zealand 5s., to South America 3s. 6d., and to places in Europe from 2d. to 5½d.; is the line to British Guiana subject to Government influence or control; if not, could some arrangement be made in favour of this Colony, and, why do the charges for post parcels bear such unfavourable comparison with other Colonies and places, e.g. 10d. per pound, compared with 7d. and 8d. to the British West India Islands, and 8d. to Mexico, etc.?


The charge for telegrams to British Guiana has been fixed by the Companies over whose lines the telegrams are conveyed. There is no doubt that it is high; and the Postmaster General would be glad if a reduction could be effected. The postage on parcels for British Guiana is not 10d. per lb. as the Hon. Member supposes, but 10d., for the first pound and 8d. for each additional pound. That this rate is slightly higher than the rate of postage on parcels for the smaller islands of the West Indies is due to the greater expense of the Postal Service in British Guiana. In the case of parcels for Mexico, although the postage to be prepaid is slightly lower than in the case of parcels for British Guiana, there is also a charge for delivery amounting to about 4 cents. per pound, while there is no such charge in British Guiana.