HC Deb 28 February 1912 vol 34 c1358

asked the Postmaster-General in what places in the British Empire a stamp corresponding to a halfpenny stamp was used for local postage of closed letters; whether the system worked satisfactorily; and, having regard to the inequality of service involved in delivering letters from here in America and Australia, as compared with delivery in the town in which they were posted, whether he would consider the advisability of allowing the use of a halfpenny stamp on closed letters delivered within the local area of postage?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

There is a halfpenny rate for local letters in Canada, Newfoundland, British Guiana, Ceylon, and IIong Kong, and a general halfpenny rate in India, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, St. Lucia, Sarawak, and Zanzibar. I do not know whether or not these services are performed at a loss. But in this country a halfpenny post for local letters would impose a heavy burden on the taxpayer, who would have to meet a very large loss of revenue. Further, it would be contrary to the principle on which the Inland Postal system has been based since 1840—that of uniformity of rates irrespective of distance.