§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether he has reason to anticipate that if a postal system of cash-on-delivery were introduced, it would be found to be of sufficient use to the community to ensure the creation of any large amount of traffic, and whether he can give any estimate of the traffic expected.
(Answered by Lord Stanley). I am unable to furnish the hon. Member with any estimate the accuracy of which could be relied on. The statistics, however, relative to the working of the system in the various foreign countries in which it has been established, furnish some rough indication. Thus it may be stated approximately that— In Germany, with a population of about 56,000,000, there were, in 1902, 37,500,000 postal packets, letters, and parcels dealt with under the system. The total of the trade charges on this traffic amounted to 648,500,000 marks, or about £32,000,000. In Belgium, with a population of about 7,000,000, there were in 1901, 128,000 letters and parcels dealt with under the system. The total of the trade charges on this traffic amounted to nearly 2,000,000 francs, or £80,000. In Switzerland, with a population of about 3,000,000, there were dealt with about 9,250,000 letters and parcels, on which the trade charges amounted to nearly 68,000,000 francs, or about £2,720,000. In Austria-Hungary, with a population of about 46,000,000, the number of trade charge letters and panels dealt with in 1902 was over 12,000,000, and the trade charges exceeded 204,000,000 crowns, or over £80,000,000. In India, the number of trade charge articles of all kinds dealt with during the year 1902 was about 3,340,000, the total 1241 trade charges being over 40,000,000 rupees.