HC Deb 17 October 1939 vol 352 cc710-1W
Mr. Hannah

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will arrange for letters and packages to be sent to members of His Majesty's Forces at domestic rates of postage wherever they may be stationed for the time being?

Mr. J. Morgan

asked the Postmaster-General what the parcel postal rates ind charges are to be for parcels up to three pounds, and to seven pounds, respectively, despatched to His Majesty's Forces serving in France; and will such rates be duty free?

Mr. Mathers

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the feeling which exists regarding the high rates of postage which have to be paid on parcels of foodstuffs and other commodities sent to men in the Fighting Forces; and whether he is able to announce the institution of free conveyance or greatly reduced postal rates for such parcels?

Major Tryon

As I have stated in reply to previous questions on this subject, I have been reviewing the scale of postage rates charged on parcels for members of His Majesty's Armed Forces serving overseas, in consultation with the Service Departments, and I am glad to be able to announce that the following reduced rates will be brought into force tomorrow:

  • For parcels up to 3 lb., 9d., a reduction from 1s. 3d.
  • For parcels from 3 lb. to 7 lb., 1s. 6d., a reduction from 2s. 6d.
  • For parcels from 7 lb. to 11 lb., 2s., a reduction from 3s. 3d.
  • For parcels from 11 lb. to 22 lb., 3s. 6d., a reduction from 6s.

I hope that the low rate fixed for the smaller parcels which I regard as of particular importance will meet with general approval: for these the charge of 9d. up to 3 lb. compare with a charge of 1s. in the late war.

In the late war the rates for parcels over 3 lb. for British troops in theatres of war other than France were appreciably higher than those for France but the rates I am now introducing will apply to parcels for members of all the Armed Forces overseas wherever they may be serving, including His Majesty's ships in foreign waters.

Letters for Forces overseas are charged at the Imperial postage rate of 1½d. for the first ounce, and 1d. for each subsequent ounce.

As regards the question of securing the removal of Customs duties on parcels sent to members of His Majesty's Forces in France, I would refer the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. J. Morgan) to the answer on the subject given on the 4th of October by the Financial Secretary to the War Office to the hon. Member for Dept-ford (Mr. W. H. Green).