§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he can state, approximately, the cost which would be entailed upon the Treasury were Members allowed to frank letters posted within the precincts of the House.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON,) Tower Hamlets, Poplar
There is no material on which I can base any reliable estimate of the cost which would be entailed on the Treasury were Members allowed to frank letters posted within the precincts of the House. But I have had a Return taken of the letters posted from the two Houses of Parliament on the last three days of its sittings—Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last. The total number of letters posted was 8,352, and the total postage was £31 18s. 4d., or an average of 2,784 of letters and £10 12s. 9d. of postage a day. It is estimated that 90 per cent. of this correspondence is posted by Members of both Houses. This would give an average of 2,500 letters a day, at a cost of £9 11s. 6d. of postage. How far these figures would be increased if franking were permitted, it is impossible to say.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what number of these letters were official documents sent out by the Vote Office?
MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E.R., Holderness)
asked whether, as Members were to receive on some future occasion their salaries, the Government would now consider whether they could not give them everything free, particularly free food.
§ * MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of the 8,352 letters were posted by 636 Members of the House of Commons and how many by the Lords?