HC Deb 10 November 1948 vol 457 cc1521-2
1. Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the postage rate of 2d. for postcards has a discouraging effect upon the use of postcards as compared with letters, with consequent wastage of paper; and whether he will consider restoring the rate to ld. with a view to encouraging economy in this respect.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Wilfred Paling)

It is estimated that, with the present-day re-use of envelopes with economy labels, the substitution of postcards for letters, which might be expected if the postcard rate was reduced, would have little effect on the total weight of paper used. I regret I cannot hold out any hope of reducing the postcard rate to ld.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

Does the Postmaster-General not consider that the difference of only one halfpenny in 2½d. is too small to signify, and would he consider making a reduction of a further halfpenny to l½d.?

Mr. Paling

We have looked into this matter not only from the point of view of reducing the price to ld., but from all other angles.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Has the right hon. Gentleman no ambition to do anything for the public he serves? If he would give us 1½d postage on postcards his name would go down in history just like that of Sir Rowland Hill.

Mr. Paling

I have to take into account a lot of things besides ambition.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any indication of what this concession would cost?

Mr. Paling

Between £3 million and £4 million.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Can the Postmaster-General tell us how much profit the Post Office made last year?