§ 11. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the total profit made by the Post Office during 1946, including the telephone and telegraph services, separately.
§ Mr. Burke
The latest available accounts are those for the financial year 1945–46. These are approximate and un audited accounts which are prepared for Departmental use during the period of suspension of publication of the Post Office Commercial Accounts. They show a surplus of income over expenditure—after charging interest on capital—of £36,191,000 for the Post Office as a whole. This total is divisible as follows:
£ Postal Service (Surplus) … 15,545,000 Telegraph Service (Deficit) … 38,000 Telephone Service (Surplus) … 20,684,000 Net Surplus … 36,191,000
§ Sir T. Moore
In answer to Question No. 9, the Minister said that it would cost £1 million to reduce the postage rate on postcards from twopence to one penny. Now he has announced that the postal service made £15 million profit last year. Surely we must assume that some of these immense profits will be passed on to the public by a reduction in postal and telegraph rates?
§ Mr. Grimston
Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that during the war these charges were largely put on as a deterrent? Surely now that peace is arrived we do not need deterrent charges?
§ Mr. Jennings
Is not the hon. Gentleman in a position to have a word with the Chancellor about using these abnormal profits to reduce taxation?