HC Deb 31 January 1929 vol 224 cc1126-7
34. Mr. MALONE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received any representations concerning the desirability of reverting to penny postage; and, if so, what action he intends to take?


I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on this subject last Tuesday.

Commander BELLAIRS

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the tremendous advantage which the United States of America possess in having a penny postage over the whole of her territory, a large portion of the British Empire and foreign countries?


In view of the terms of the answer and the statements which have appeared in the public Press on the subject of the National Health Insurance, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can give an assurance that any loss incurred in the establishment of a penny postage will not be made good by revenues derived from the disposal of National Health Insurance to private interests?


I am not in a position at the moment to make a reply on any of these subjects, but we shall consider the whole field of revenue before the Budget statement, and when that statement is made any proposals for relief or additional taxation will be laid before the House.


In view of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall put a Private Notice question to the right hon. Gentleman to-morrow in regard to the relation of the two points of National Health Insurance and penny postage.


I do not want there to be any misunderstanding on the subject. It is a mare's nest. I have never heard any suggestion that National Health Insurance should be made to pay for penny postage. No such suggestion has ever been brought before me until this afternoon by the right hon. Gentleman, and I can give him my full assurance that such an idea has never been entertained.


In that event, there would be no need to put the question tomorrow.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any information as to the effect upon the Revenue of the introduction of the penny post in Canada; and, if not, whether he will cause inquiries to be made?


I have been asked to answer this question. The Postmaster-General has asked the Canadian Post Office for the information desired by my hon. Friend, but has not yet received a reply. It may be some little time before exact information as to the effects on revenue and traffic is available.