Skip to main content

Southern Rhodesia (Letters)

Volume 728: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1966

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Postmaster-General why a postal surcharge is made on letters received from Southern Rhodesia bearing a Southern Rhodesian stamp; what actual sum is charged: and whether a rebate is payable where the surcharge causes hardship.

Certain stamps used on mail from Southern Rhodesia are not valid. We therefore discount them when assessing the postage paid and make a surcharge, on ordinary letters, of double any resultant deficiency. No rebate is payable for hardship.

Could the right hon. Gentleman indicate on average what the scale of surcharge is likely to be? Can he say whether he thinks that a penalty for what may be an illegal act should be visited upon, for example, pensioners? A 5s. surcharge can make a very severe dent in their weekly income.

The surcharge depends, of course, entirely on the weight of the package sent; 95 per cent. of the mail entering this country from Rhodesia bears valid stamps.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have received unsolicited official letters from Rhodesia without stamps and without surcharge? What is he going to do about that?

With many millions of letters coming in there will always be some unstamped letters and some letters improperly stamped which will escape surcharge. This is inevitable in this sort of organisation.