HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 cc627-8
12. Mr. Blaker

asked the Postmaster-General what plans he has to reorganise the Post Office magazine Courier, having regard to the loss of £45,661 in the first 12 months of operation to September, 1967; and if he will state the average loss on each copy sold in that period.

Mr. Edward Short

The Post Office contribution to the cost of Courier will be reduced during 1968 by £8,500 to about £37,000. The average loss on each copy sold in the first 12 months of operation was 7d. In 1968 this will be reduced to 3.3 pence.

Many large industrial organisations bear the entire cost of their house magazines.

Mr. Blaker

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree, that it is very difficult to justify running a journal of this kind at a loss when the Postmaster-General is seeking to raise postal charges? Would he give an assurance that it is his objective that this enterprise should cover its costs entirely and that if it does not do so it will be discontinued?

Mr. Short

I will give no such undertaking. This is money extremely well spent. The Post Office employs 440,000 people, and one of the great problems in it is communications. I believe that this new Post Office newspaper makes a real contribution to improving communications in the Post Office. There are a number of hon. Members present who are associated with firms in which the house magazine costs a great deal more than this and the entire cost is borne by the firm. In the Post Office, the employees pay 3d. for the magazine.