HL Deb 09 May 1961 vol 231 c220WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will consider reintroducing the pre-war night-letter telegram, as the substitution for it of the cheap night rate is not nearly adequate to attract users who would be very numerous if the scheme had better publicity than before the war, and whether they will extend it to cover Eire.


Apart from the charges, there is no difference between the pre-war Night-Telegraph letter service and the present Overnight Telegram service. In the pre-war service messages handed in to the Post Office before midnight were delivered, normally by first post, the following weekday morning: the same facility is given by the present service.

The pre-war charge was roughly one-third of the ordinary rate, but with a minimum charge greater than that for an ordinary telegram. The tariff, therefore, offered advantage only for longer telegrams. The present charge is half the ordinary rate with a minimum half that for an ordinary telegram. The tariff is now attractive, therefore, for telegrams of any length. My right honourable friend sees no prospect of reducing the present charges.

There has been no demand for the extension of the service to the Irish Republic, and my right honourable friend would not feel justified in providing this additional facility at the present time when the service is being run at a loss.