HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 cc135-6
16. Dr. Broughton

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the revenue from telegrams in each of the years 1953 and 1954.

Mr. Gammans

In the calendar year 1953, the revenue from telegrams of all classes was £8,856,000; in 1954, it was approximately £9,300,000. For inland telegrams only the figures are £3,603,000 and £3,840,000 respectively.

Dr. Broughton

Can the Minister state whether the revenue now covers the cost of this service and, if it does, whether there is any prospect of charges for telegrams being reduced?

Mr. Gammans

If the hon. Member is speaking of inland telegrams, I am afraid that the answer is "No," but the figures relate to increased charges for only a comparatively small part of the whole year. At the end of this year we shall be able to give figures relating more clearly to the whole position.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Is not the final result of the revenue from increasing the telegram charge very much higher than the loss that the hon. Gentleman put forward as justification for the increase?

Mr. Gammans

No, Sir. Revenue has gone up by 33 per cent, and the amount of traffic has gone down by 34 per cent.

Mr. Chetwynd

Can the hon. Gentleman say how much profit he made on the large number of telegrams which came to hon. Members yesterday?