HC Deb 06 March 1906 vol 153 cc301-2
MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he is taking any steps with regard to the reduction of the postal rates to Canada on British magazines, periodic cals, and newspapers, under the special circumstances of the case.


The question is engaging my attention. But I may take this opportunity of pointing out that the present charge of 4d. a lb. on these postal items does not cover the average cost of the Colonial traffic, which is at present carried on at a loss. A re- duction of the general charge on such articles at home, and in the Colonies, sufficient to meet the Canadian case, would entail a very heavy loss of revenue; a loss which could not be recouped, but would only be made greater by any increase that took place in the amount carried due to the reduction of the rate. The question, therefore, of a change which would involve a large general reduction in this item of postage is, under existing conditions, not feasible. The position of Canada, however, in regard to this matter is a peculiar one. But I see, I fear, little prospect of attaining the desired object, unless some special arrangement, entailing probably some sacrifice on either side, could be devised, and in a form which would not create a precedent.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that these magazines, etc., carried by the Canadian mail service were so conveyed at the expense of the Canadian Government, and that the British Government contributed nothing to the cost of the mail service.


was understood to reply that we paid our proportion of the transit dues, and he did not think any portion of the charge which should properly fall on the British Government was paid by the Canadian Government.


But the total cost of the mail service to this country is borne by the Canadian Government.