HC Deb 23 January 1969 vol 776 cc146-7W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General to what extent the introduction of first and second class mails has affected the finances of the Post Office since that introduction occurred.

Mr. Stonehouse

I estimate that the recent changes will increase Post Office revenue by some £21 millions in a full year. This figure takes account of the present lower levels of traffic.

Mr. Lomas

asked the Postmaster-General how the volume of Christmas cards posted in 1968 compared with the previous five years; and to what reason he attributes the difference.

Mr. Stonehouse

Separate figures for Christmas cards are not available; but the volume of all letters and cards during the Christmas and New Year periods since 1963 is as follows:

1963 997 million
1964 1,033 million
1965 1,037 million
1966 1,040 million
1967 1,049 million
1968 932 million

The decline at Christmas, 1968, was due, at least in part, to the increased rates of postage.

Mr. Lomas

asked the Postmaster-General what percentage of mail bearing a 5d. stamp was delivered the following day to the latest available date in January; and what percentage of mail bearing a 4d. stamp was delivered the following day.

Mr. Sronehouse

About 94 per cent. of letters with 5d. stamps and 41 per cent. with 4d. stamps are being delivered by the next week day after posting; and a further 53 per cent. of 4d. letters a day later.

Mr. Pardoe

asked the Postmaster-General what percentage of all 4d. and 5d. mail is attributable to Government Departments.

Mr. Donald Williams

asked the Postmaster-General what is the current proportion of the first class mail represented by its use by Government Ministries and Departments.

Mr. Stonehouse

Second class 9 per cent., first class 12 per cent.

Sir E. Bullus

asked the Postmaster-General what was the total volume of Christmas mail, letters and parcels; and how this compared with totals for the three previous years.

Mr. Stonehouse

About 932 million letters and 22 million parcels. Parcel traffic was much the same in previous years, but there were 1,049 million letters in 1967, 1,040 million in 1966, and 1,037 million in 1965.