HC Deb 01 February 1938 vol 331 cc32-3
74. Captain A. Evans

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the record profit made by the Post Office during 1937, he will consider the reintroduction of penny postage?

Major Tryon

It is estimated that, on the basis of the existing traffic, the re-introduction of penny postage would result in an immediate reduction in revenue of over £7,500,000 for letters and nearly £1,000,000 for postcards—making a total of about £8,500,000. After making full allowance, based on past experience, for the probable increase in postal traffic in consequence of the cheaper rate, the net cost would be over £7,500,000. Much as I would like to reintroduce penny postage, I regret that the financial situation would not warrant the sacrifice of revenue involved.

Mr. Macquisten

Are not these the very arguments that were adduced when Rowland Hill first proposed penny postage?

Major Tryon

It has been suggested that, if we lowered the postage by ½d., there would be no loss of revenue and the Postmaster-General would earn eternal gratitude; but, as a matter of fact, when we reduced the postage by ½d. in 1922, the Chancellor of the Exchequer lost several million pounds and the Postmaster-General lost his seat.