HC Deb 09 July 1958 vol 591 cc392-3
47. Mr. Tiley

asked the Postmaster-General if he will consider introducing a standard size envelope and encourage its general use by giving it a reduction in postage stamp duty.

Mr. Marples

The development of postal machines is likely to make some modification of the present sizes and types of envelope very desirable, and the subject is now being studied both in the British Post Office and in the Universal Postal Union. But we must await the results of these studies before deciding what should be done, and I see no prospect at present of any development which would permit a reduction in postage rates.

Mr. Tiley

Will my right hon. Friend believe me when I say that I did not expect that he would announce any postal reductions today in answer to this Question? Nevertheless, will he press on with the investigation, bearing in mind the fact that technical skill and modernisation have enabled him to reduce our telephone charges and his customers are expecting them to have the same effect on our correspondence costs?

Mr. Marples

I can assure my hon. Friend that we shall press on with our experiments. We intend to take a town of reasonable size and try out a standard envelope and see what impression we can make.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this investigation has been going on for at least ten years—long before I became Postmaster-General?

Mr. Hirst

What did the right hon. Gentleman do about it?

Mr. Ness Edwards

—long before I became Postmaster-General. Is there any possibility of the International Postal Union agreeing in the near future to a standard size of envelope?

Mr. Marples

I should not like to be responsible for saying what the International Postal Union is likely to decide, but I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that we, in the British Post Office, will make this experiment.

Mr. C. R. Hobson

The right hon. Gentleman has no powers.

Forward to