HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 cc634-5
37. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Postmaster-General what will be the cost of introducing the alpha-numeric form of address coding system.

Mr. Edward Short

About £1,660,000 to code 75 major towns by 1970. Introduction of postcodes is an essential preliminary to the use of automatic letter sorting machinery which will produce substantial savings.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that receiving a letter is a personal thing, and that this change to using a code instead of an address is an exercise which is not really worth the expense involved, in view of the impersonal nature of the new form?

Mr. Short

We are not changing to anything. The code is to be added to the address. This is essential, because it is the code which makes the machinery work. By the end of our mechanisation programme we estimate that the return on this system will be about 20 per cent.

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