§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can state the financial results of the reduction of the rate of postage to and from certain colonies to one penny, and whether letters charged at that rate are carried at a loss.
§ MR. HANBURY
The estimate which was made when the scheme was sanctioned in 1898 related solely to the reduction of receipts from the existing number of letters posted, which was placed at £108,000 a year. This calculation was based mainly on the Postal Union statistics of 1896, and took no account of the anticipated growth in the number of letters sent. No accurate statement of the results up till now can be given without elaborate inquiry; but the officers despatching the bags are quite certain that the establishment of penny postage to British possessions has not led to the increase of the correspondence by 150 per cent.; and the growth which has taken place has led to increased expenditure for carriage and handling. Even the twopenny-halfpenny letter was carried at a loss.