HC Deb 29 March 1897 vol 47 cc1558-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, considering the inconvenience caused to and the dissatisfaction expressed by newspaper publishers and other senders of large quantities of newspaper and book post packets at halfpenny rates, he is prepared to rescind the Treasury Warrant, issued in November 1894, imposing a return fee of one halfpenny on papers and packets undeliverable reason of change of address or from other causes; and what becomes of the considerable number of newspapers and book packets undelivered by reason of change of address or other cause which do not bear a request on the wrapper, to be returned to the sender in case of non-delivery?


The Treasury Warrant to which the hon. Member refers provided for the free re-direction of newspapers and other postal packets sent at the halfpenny rate, and as its effect has been very advantageous to the public, the Postmaster General is not prepared to recommend that it should be rescinded. The Warrant in making this alteration further provided for the payment of postage for the return of such packets as might be undeliverable and whose return seemed desirable or necessary either from their intrinsic importance or film the written request of the addressor that they should be so returned; but as the addressor has no right to such undeliverable articles, the Postmaster General does not consider that there is any reason why he should not be charged for the cost of returning them, when he desires their return. Packets which do not bear a request for return in case of non-delivery are treated as waste paper, unless the contents appear to be of some importance, in which case they are offered to the sender subject to the payment of the return postage.