HC Deb 06 April 1914 vol 60 cc1600-2
38. Mr. AMERY

asked the Postmaster-General whether he has received an intimation from the Postmaster-General of Canada to the effect that the special reduced rates given on the postage of British magazines to Canada will be discontinued in future owing to the refusal of the British Government to bear any share of the cost; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


asked whether the Postmaster-General's attention has been drawn to a statement, made by the Postmaster-General of Canada, that the preferential rate of postage granted on British magazines circulating in Canada was to be withdrawn owing to the refusal of the British Post Office to bear part of the cost; and, if so, whether he will state what reasons have induced the Post Office to follow this course, in view of the valuable privileges granted by the Canadian Post Office in order to stimulate the circulation of British literature in the British Empire?


asked (1) if the Postmaster-General will lay upon the Table of the House the communications which have passed between His Majesty's Government and the Dominion Government of Canada with reference to the postal rate for magazines and newspapers between Great Britain and the Dominion; and (2) whether his attention has been drawn to the statement of the Postmaster-General of the Dominion of Canada that the special rates on magazines granted by the Dominion Government have been withdrawn on account of His Majesty's Government not co-operating; and what steps he is taking in the matter with a view to reducing to the lowest possible minimum the postage rates on magazines and newspapers?


The special postage rate of ld. per lb. on British newspapers, magazines and trade journals sent from the United Kingdom to Canada has not been withdrawn. There was no refusal on the part of the British Post Office to bear part of the cost of transmission. The post was established at the request of the Canadian Government and upon the terms which they proposed, and there was no reason to anticipate that the Canadian Post Office would desire to alter those terms. Negotiations with the Canadian Government as to the continuance of the Magazine Post after the 31st of July next are proceeding; and I am not at present in a position to make any statement or to lay Papers on the subject.

40. Mr. CROFT

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state what steps the Government have taken to increase the facilities for the freer interchange of maga- zines and periodicals between the United Kingdom and the Oversea Dominions?


Under the Post Office Act of 1913 any copies of a newspaper published in any part of the Empire which is capable of being registered by the Post Office, under the conditions applicable to newspapers published in this country, and has been so registered, are admissible at the inland newspaper rate of ½d. per copy for transmission within the British Islands. Sixty-one newspapers published in other parts of the Empire have, up to the present, been so registered. Negotiations are proceeding with the Canadian Government on the subject of the magazine post.


In view of the circulation throughout Canada of a great amount of alien literature, some actually hostile to British ideas, will the right hon. Gentleman do his utmost to see that the Government meet the Canadian Government, if possible?


The Post Office is now in negotiation with the Canadian Government on the subject, and I cannot make a statement at present. I do not think it would advance the cause which the hon. Gentleman has at heart if I did so.