HC Deb 30 June 1965 vol 715 cc608-9
9. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Postmaster-General in how many newspapers he advertised the increase in postal charges on 17th May; what was the total number and cost of such advertisements; and whether he will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the amount of space taken in each newspaper and the cost thereof.

10. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Postmaster-General what was the cost of publicity advertising the increases in postal charges.

61. Mr. Costain

asked the Postmaster-General what will be the total cost of advertising the increased postal charges.

Mr. Benn

The total cost was £109,500, including £4,500 for posters and leaflets. The new charges were advertised in 130 publications, the total number of advertisements being 361. The detailed information asked for is too lengthy for the OFFICIAL REPORT. I am therefore placing it in the Library, and sending a copy to the hon. Member for South Norfolk.

Mr. Hill

Is not this a somewhat curious example of the right hon. Gentleman's alleged constant efforts to keep down expenditure? Was it really necessary to take twice the space required to set out the new charges in order to reiterate some well-accepted platitudes? Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the public fully appreciates that men and women are required to collect, handle and deliver the mails but does not wish to pay indirectly through Post Office deficits to be given that information?

Mr. Benn

The first advertisement only contained the outlined reasons which I think the public was entitled to know, and in this we reflected the decision reached by the House when the tariffs were adopted in March.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Are these advertisements placed in all the national newspapers, or is there any differentiation because of ownership or political persuasion? Was the Daily Worker included? If not, why not?

Mr. Benn

I have been into this question. The Daily Worker and the New Daily were not included. This was not a policy decision but was taken on the advice of the agents who represent the best way of covering the nation.

Mr. Lewis

Surely Communists use stamps.