HC Deb 27 March 1896 vol 39 cc264-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether, seeing that in an official letter, dated 14th September 1895, and addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Coubrough, he stated that there was already a loss on all the halfpenny business of the Post Office, and that it would of course increase the loss to sell post-cards for the value of the stamp only, he will permit private companies to undertake the collection and delivery of halfpenny matter, including post-cards and circulars, without requiring royalty, licence duty, or other payment from the companies concerned.


To the first part of the hon. Member's Question the answer is in the affirmative. The statement in question was in accordance with the the report of the Select Committee of this House which was appointed to examine into the Estimates of the Revenue Departments in July 1888, and upon which the hon. Member himself served. As regards the second portion, the Postmaster-General is not prepared to permit private companies to undertake the collection and delivery of post-cards, circulars, and other articles sent at the halfpenny rate of postage. To do so would be to allow such Companies to appropriate all the local business, which is probably the only remunerative part, and to leave to the Department the delivery over long distances, which is the main cause of the present loss.