HC Deb 16 March 1965 vol 708 c1049
18. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Postmaster General what he estimates would be the yield in a full year from raising the 3d post to 4d.

Mr. Benn

An increase in the inland letter rate from 3d. to 4d. would yield between £20 million and£25 million in a full year, depending on the adjustments made in the weight steps.

Mr. Digby

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he told me on 23rd November that the 3d. post was already making a profit of £4,500,000? Is it not therefore clear from the figures he has just given that any further increase would not be justified? When will he finally make up his mind that he will not increase the rate from 3d. to 4d.?

Mr. Benn

There is another Question on the Order Paper, from the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), about future policy. I have answered this Question.

Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

Is not any further rise in the price of postage yet another example of the failure of nationalization—worse service at increased cost?

Mr. Benn

Compared with the 1½d. letter in 1939 a first-class letter would now cost 5d. if the cost compared with the increase in prices generally.