HC Deb 25 April 1968 vol 763 cc463-4
32. Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

asked the Postmaster-General what particular considerations led him to require post office-preferred envelopes to have the longer side at least 1.414 times the shorter side.

Mr. Joseph Slater

Envelopes with one side appreciably longer than the other are most suitable for our sorting office machines. The proportions quoted are those recommended for stationery by the International Standards Organisation.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

Is it really necessary to have this figure to three places of decimals? What will happen in a dispute between the postmaster and the person to whom a letter is delivered if there is an over-charge and the person wants to know how the 1.414 proportion has been arrived at?

Mr. Slater

The range of sizes which we have adopted was recommended in the first place by the Universal Postal Union, and it has been taken up by other countries; so we are in line.