§ MR. J. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that our 200 postcards are the smallest in the world; whether the thick postacrds contain 22 per cent. of German clay; what is the maximum measurement allowed by the Postal Union for postcards; whether there is a profit on the sale of so-called halfpenny postcards; and whether he is yet prepared to sell postcards at their face value?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Postmastsr General does not know whether the; British postcards are the smallest in the world, but he is aware that the postcards used in some foreign countries are rather larger than the British inland postcards. He believes, however, that it is for the advantage of the public that the present size should be maintained, as larger cards project beyond the bundles of letters with which they are tied, and their edges are liable to be cut by the string. The Postmaster General is not aware whether the thick cards do or do not contain 22 per cent. of German clay, and so long as their quality is satisfactory for their purpose he does not think it necessary to inquire The maximum measurements allowed for postcards by the Postal Union are approximately 5½ by 3½ inches—more exactly, 14 by 9 centimetres. It is believed that there is a small profit on the sale of post-cards. The Postmaster General is not prepared to sell postcards at their face value. They were originally so sold, but a charge was imposed because it was represented by the stationery trade that the State was entering into an unfair competition by supplying cardboard gratis. This contention has now much greater force, because, owing to the admission to the halfpenny post of private cards with adhesive stamps, much capital must have been expended in the manufacture of cards.