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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
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Letter Concerning Postal Service Charges
(S479a: 1893)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter sent to Parliament printed on column 1685 of The Parliamentary Debates, Fourth Series: Volume 17 (1893). To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S479A.htm

Mr. Alfred R. Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset, sent the following sensible suggestions:--

     "I have been reading with interest and approval your article on Post Office Reforms, and wish to suggest for your consideration two other cases in which the present system seems to me irrational and needlessly complex. 1. In Postal Orders the cost and trouble to the Post Office is exactly the same in all sums from 1s. to £1. Why, then, should a different charge be made? The money is paid in advance, and balances from unclaimed or delayed Postal Orders must be constantly in the hands of the Post Office. At all branch Post Offices the receipts and payments of orders must average about the same, and I can see no sense whatever in making three separate charges--½d., 1d., and 1½d.--for sums between 1s. and £1. If ½d. covers cost of Postal Orders for 1s. 6d. it must do so for all amounts. If not, then the uniform charge should be 1d., and that should cover all amounts (to even sixpences) between 1s. and 20s., whether made up by one, two, or three orders. For Money Orders also the charges are most extravagant. They should be uniform--say, 2d. or 3d. for all sums from £1 to £10."

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