§ Mr. Leckie
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the many heavy surcharges that are made on letters from the United Kingdom to South Africa, owing to the fact that all first-class mail is now sent by air at the rate of three-halfpence for the first half-ounce; and whether he will arrange either for an alternative mail for letters by steamer at the former charges or a corresponding reduction in charges by air mail?
§ Major Tryon
Yes, Sir, and I have endeavoured by every means at my disposal and with the valuable co-operation 415W of the Press, the Federation of British Industries, the Chambers of Commerce and others, to bring to the notice of the posting public the correct rate of postage for letters to South Africa.
As regards the second part of the question, as the hon. Member will see from the White Paper (Command 5414) relating to the Empire Air Mail Scheme, the whole of the financial and other arrangements in connection with the Scheme are based on conveyance by air as the normal means of transmission of all first-class mail (letters, letter packets and postcards) at the rate of l½d, per half-ounce for letters and 1d. for postcards. I regret I am not in a position to sanction arrangements for the despatch of particular items of first-class mail by surface route at the option of the sender or to reduce the letter postage rate of 1½d. per half-ounce which, as shown in the White Paper, entails a substantial loss to the Post Office.