HC Deb 03 May 1898 vol 57 cc155-6

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can state the grounds on which a parcel on which 10½d. had been paid was redirected from the House of Commons to Eaton Square free of charge, but when redirected from the House of Commons to the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross (about one-third of the distance to Eaton Square) was held liable to an additional charge of 10½d.; whether, down to 31st May, 1892, when the existing regulations on the subject came into force, parcels, in common with other postal packets, were redirected from one point to another within the metropolis free of charge; and whether he will, having regard to the amount of profit to the Department produced by the present rule, as compared with the inconvenience to the public, restore the old rule, and concede once more the free redirection of parcels within the metropolitan postal district?


As Eaton Square and the House of Commons are both served from the same parcel delivery office, a parcel under the rule, addressed to one of the places would be redirected without charge to the other. As the Grand Hotel is in the Western Central and the House of Commons in the South Western District, and the two places are served from different offices, a parcel redirected from one of the places to the other would be rightly charged additional postage. The reason of the rule is that redirection from one district to another involves a practically new dispatch and possibly additional railway charges. Up to the end of May, 1892, parcels were redirected free from any part of London to any other. In 1892, however, the regulations for redirection of all postal packets were reconsidered, and parcels were treated differently from other postal packets on account of the greater facility with which the charge could be collected, and because on them alone the railway charges are calculated for each particular packet. The Postmaster General is not at the present time prepared to modify the existing regulations so as to admit of parcels being redirected without charge from one part of London to another.


Will the right honourable Gentleman make London one postal delivery so far as parcels are concerned?


No, I do not see why that should be done.