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Letter Rate

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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asked the Post master-General if he is aware that the present letter rate of 2½d. for two ounces bears heavily on private per sons, business people and all other sections of the community who have occasion to write letters frequently; and whether, in view of the substantial surplus shown by the Post Office every year, he will now restore the penny post for two-ounce letters.

I regret that the loss of revenue involved would be quite prohibitive.

Although this Question was put down before the right hon. Gentleman's recent statement on increases, is it not a fact that the increase from the traditional penny post to 2½d. is one of the largest increases to which the public have been subject, although, admittedly, other Governments have also been responsible? Is it not also clear that the immense increase in the correspondence conducted by Government Departments means that the public are paying an increasing subsidy towards the carriage of official correspondence?

The cost of doing this has been estimated to be about £9 million. That is an amount of revenue which I cannot afford to lose.