HC Deb 21 November 1956 vol 560 cc1717-8
4. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that it costs almost twice as much to send a single copy of a book by post from one London address to another as it does to send the same book from London to Australia; and if he will accordingly review the recent increases in charges in inland printed paper rates.

Dr. Hill

To the first part of the Question the Answer is "Yes, Sir". In reply to the second part, the overseas service is running at a substantial loss and I should not feel justified in incurring a corresponding loss on the inland service.

Dr. Johnson

May I, none the less, ask my right hon. Friend if he is aware of the possibility that the Post Office may lose all this internal business to other forms of transport unless some kind of review, as regards single books in particular, can be made?

Dr. Hill

I do not share my hon. Friend's gloomly forebodings about the loss on the inland service. I ought to say that the loss on the overseas service is £3½ million, but, for a number of reasons which hon. Members will appreciate, it did not seem right to increase the charges for overseas services, and we are continuing to bear that loss.