HC Deb 27 February 1952 vol 496 cc1118-9
3. Sir Edward Keeling

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he will try the Dutch system of collecting from the senders deficiencies in the postage paid on letters sent abroad, instead of leaving them to be collected from the addressees.

Mr. Gammans

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for this suggestion. It has long been the practice of the Post Office, where either a single package or a batch of packages from one sender would be liable to a heavy surcharge, for the additional stamps to be stuck on and the sender asked to refund them. It is proposed to extend this arrangement as an experiment to cover as many ordinary underpaid letters as possible, but this can only be done where the name and address of the sender appears on the outside.

Sir E. Keeling

Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that the old British custom of understamping letters send abroad causes much irritation in other countries, and that his efforts to remove some of the irritation and to change the custom to a greater extent will be applauded?

Mr. Gammans

That is why we are making this experiment, but I would point out to my hon. Friend that it is bound to be limited so long as approximately only one person in five troubles to put his name and address on the envelope, because the Post Office have no authority to open letters.