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Friday, 21 September 1928

Mr R GREEN (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (7:11 AM) - Under the heading of " Conveyance of mails per Orient Line of Steamers, £130,000 ", I wish to bring under the notice of the Postmaster-General, the subject of the conveyance of mails overseas and the rates charged. In this connexion I shall read to the committee a letter which I have received from a business man in Sydney. It relates to newspaper charges, and it bears out the figures with which the Postmaster-General supplied me some months ago. The letter reads -

Postage on newspapers. It seems to me, that the bulk of our newspapers are the best form of advertising the Commonwealth over seas, yet the postage rate is, in the bulk of cases, absolutely prohibitive. Of course I am aware that to foreign countries, it is governed by the International Postal Union Rules and Regulations, although special arrangements can be made with individual countries, as is evidenced by the fact that to the United States of America, the rate is Id. per 4 oz., whilst the rate to all other foreign countries is Id. per 2 oz. The point which I particularly wish to direct your attention to is, that whilst we can post newspapers via Prance to the United Kingdom, at Hd. up to 10 oz. in weight, and by the all-sea route Hd. per 16 oz., to send the same newspapers to, say, Colombo - a place within the Empire - costs Id. per 4 oz. By direct steamers from here to Vancouver, I see no earthly reason why the postage rate should be any more than lid. per 16 oz., or certainly not more than 1½d. per 10 oz., yet the rate imposed by the authorities, is Id. per 4 oz. I think you will agree with me, that the more of our newspapers which go into Canada, the better it is from an advertising point of view, and that the postage rate to a place within the Empire, with which there is direct steamer communication, should be reduced to not more than lid. per 10 oz., but preferably per 10 oz.

The rates referred to relate to newspapers sent to British possessions, British dominions, the United States of America, and other countries, and they range from Id. for 2 oz. up to l£d. for 16 oz. That is a wide range. I ask that the PostmasterGeneral give consideration to this matter and since we have a direct sea route to places such as Colombo, Vancouver, and South African ports, where newspapers, weekly or daily, can be sent in bulk, I suggest that the rate should be l^d. for 16 oz., or at the least l^d. for 10 oz.

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