§ 2. Mr. Kenneth Baker
asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what action is to be taken on the recommendations of the National Board for Prices and Incomes as to increased charges for parcels and money orders.
§ The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (Mr. John Stonehouse)
The N.B.P.I. saw no grounds for denying the increases proposed, but said that the timing was primarily a matter for the commercial judgment of the Post Office. I have accepted that, and the action to be taken is thus a matter for the Board of the new Post Office, which has it currently under consideration.
§ Mr. Baker
Does the Minister not recall that last year parcels lost £2 million and postal money orders £3 million? What action is he proposing to arrest these losses? When he talks about timing, does lie mean that he is going to screw up his pre-election courage and announce increases which are operative only after the next General Election?
§ Mr. Stonehouse
It would have been possible for me as the Postmaster-General who had to make the decision to increase these charges, but, as the Corporation was due to come into effect from 1st October, it would not have been possible for this House to have prayed against the in- 572 creases put on in this way. I considered it wisest to leave the matter to the Post Office Board so that it could consider it along with all its other responsibilities.