HC Deb 07 June 1921 vol 142 cc1676-7

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state roughly what proportion of the total expenses of his Department is disbursed on matters purely postal, i.e., connected with the postal, telegraphic, and telephone service, and what proportion on matters connected with pensions and other non-postal business; and whether any part of the expenses of such non- postal service are charged against the Ministries which are more properly responsible for them?


It is estimated that, of the total expenses of the Post Office for the current year, about 97 per cent. will be incurred in connection with the ordinary services of the Department, and nearly 3 per cent. in connection with special services for other Departments, such as the payment of pensions. As a general rule payments are not made by one Government Department to another in respect of services rendered. Credit is taken for the value of unpaid services rendered by the Post Office to other Government Departments in the Commercial Accounts, as indicated on pages 7, 9, and 14 of House of Commons Paper No. 218 of Session 1920.


Does that mean that the Post Office is losing £3,000,000 a year on pension business, which is to be made up by taxing the public, and not by going to the right Ministry?


No, that would be a very unfortunate conclusion to draw from the simple statement I have made. Credit is taken for all services rendered to other Government Departments, and the figures appear in our Commercial Accounts.