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Air Mails

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the reason why air mail letters to the Gold Coast Colony from the United Kingdom cost 1s. 3d. and air mail letters from the U.S. to the Gold Coast cost only 7½d.

As regards the charge of 1s. 3d. from the United Kingdom, I would refer the hon. Member to the answers which I gave to the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. C. Shawcross) on 18th October and to the hon. Member for Baling East (Sir F. Sanderson) on 25thOctober. According to the latest information in my possession the air postage from the U.S.A. to the Gold Coast is 50c. per half ounce, which is equivalent to about 2s. 6d.

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is aware that to send the "Middlesex Times and Gazette" containing their home news to serving men in Burma by air mail costs 1s. 6d. per week; that the only alternative is by ordinary post which takes nearly three months; and whether he will consider reducing the cost and so help men serving under difficult conditions to have up-to-date news of their home towns.

Newspapers can be sent by air to the Forces in Burma at the rates applicable to the air conveyance of letters, namely, 1½d. up to one ounce and, for heavier letters, 6d. for the first one-and-a-half ounces and 6d. for each succeeding half ounce. The transmission time of newspapers sent at the alternative surface rate of ½d. per two ounces is five to six weeks to the base, and additional time would be occupied in distribution from the base. The introduction of a specially reduced air mail rate for newspapers would necessitate a large increase in the aircraft capacity at present allocated to mails, and I am advised that any such increase would be impracticable in existing circumstances.