HC Deb 06 March 1900 vol 80 cc207-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether it is his intention to remedy the disparity between the cost of postage of periodicals and magazines, published in this country at greater length of time than one week, and the ordinary newspapers; whether his attention has been called to the statement in the last report of the Postmaster General of New Zealand to the effect that a magazine post has been established in that colony, the rates of which are 1d. for the first 8 oz., and ½d. for each succeeding 4 oz.; and whether he can see his way to grant a similar concession to the people of this country.


My hon. friend often sees similarity where none exists. Magazines differ from newspapers in so far as they do not contain news, in their greater weight, and in the longer intervals at winch they appear. Books published at regular intervals might just as well be sent at the newspaper rate as magazines. My hon. friend too frequently changes his views as to the rates to be charged. He now suggests more than double the rate he proposed when he last asked the question. He is aware that there is already a loss on the newspaper post in this country, and that the postal authorities in the United States and in Canada complain that the development of postal facilities is strangled by the large deficits due to the cheap carriage of printed matter in those countries. For packets exceeding 2½lbs. in weight the parcel post in this country is already cheaper than the New Zealand magazine post.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that for the past fifteen years the Postmaster General has been promising reform on this matter?


Yes, but I have shown that it would be exceedingly unwise to make any such reform.