§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the postage of Foreign letters is higher in England than in any other country in Europe; whether the proposal of Great Britain to reduce the postage for Foreign and Colonial letters from 2½d. to 2d. has been rejected at the Postal Union Congress at Washington; and, what course the Government intend to take in consequence?
§ *THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
As the hon. Member is aware, the standard rate of postage is fixed by the Union in centimes, and where centimes enter into the coinage, as in France, Belgium, and Switzerland, the postage 371 is exactly that which is sanctioned by the Union. In this country there is no exact equivalent, and the practice has been to collect 2½d., which is undoubtedly a little more than is charged in most of the other European countries. The Postmaster General has not yet received the report of the British delegates, and he is not, therefore, in a position to state what has taken place at the Congress at Washington or what course the Government will adopt.
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that Austria sent 120 letters to England against 94 letters sent from England to Austria.
§ *MR. HANBURY
The charges on letters from Austria to England are considerably below 25 centimes. There are other countries—I think Russia., Sweden, and Norway—where the charges are above that sum.