§ Brigadier-General SPEARS
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the inconvenience caused by the present Regulations as to printed paper rates, he will consider the revision and simplification of these Regulations, so that, for instance, such anomalies as that a typed copy of a circular letter costs three times as much as a carbon or printed copy of the same letter shall be removed?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
The Regulation to which the hon. and gallant Member particularly refers requires that circular letters intended for despatch at the reduced rate, if not printed in the ordinary way, shall be reproductions obtained by some process commonly employed to prepare a number of identical copies, and shall be handed in in batches of not less than 20 packets at a time. The object of the regulation, which is in force also in the international service, is to protect the revenue; and I do not see my way to modify it.
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he will consider abolishing the present printed paper regulations, and introducing a new classification of postal correspondence in place of printed papers which, by reducing the working costs of the Post Office, would give the public a really cheap rate of postage;
(2) whether, with a view to giving the public a really cheap rate of postage, he is able to say what are the practical diffi- 1986W culties, if any, which would prevent the adoption of a scheme of postal reform whereby postal correspondence would be re-classified as ordinary and deferred, the former being postable and delivered as now, the latter postable during banking hours and excluded from the first delivery?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
If the savings, which are required to finance the cheap rate of postage, are to materialise, it would be inevitable that the frequency of communication between different towns would be reduced and the time of transmission, both of ordinary and deferred correspondence, considerably increased. I do not think the public could reasonably be asked to submit to so general a deterioration of the existing postal services as a scheme of this kind would entail. Apart from this objection, there would be many practical difficulties, such as the impossibility of applying the scheme to rural areas and the inadequacy of the existing sorting office accommodation.