MR, HOLT (Northumberland, Hexham)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that commercial papers are sent to Shanghai by French and German packets at an estimated cost of 4s 3d and 4s 10d. per pound respectively, and that the estimated cost of forwarding via Siberia, which saves about ten days in transit, is 6s 8d per pound, he will allow commercial papers to be forwarded via Siberia subject to a payment of postage of 50 per cent, higher than that charged on commercial papers forwarded by French and German packets.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
The rates which the hon. Member quotes do not refer to commercial papers, but solely to letters and 55 postcards. My right hon. friend sees strong objections to adopting a special rate and so abandoning the uniformity of charge which at present exists in the postal union. He proposed, therefore, to endeavour to secure a reduction in the very high charges made by the East of China Railway Company for the use of the Siberian route.