In Monday's Times Lord Farrer boldly raises the question whether
the monopoly of the Post Office is desirable either in the interests of the Post Office or the taxpayer. At present the Post Office contributes about three and a half millions to the Revenue, and the official answer is that if you allow competition you will take away all the profitable business from the Post Office, and leave it with only that portion of its work which it does rather as the servant of the public and for public convenience than on a commercial basis. Lord Farrer contends, however, and we think there is a good deal of truth in what he says, that competition would only stimulate the Post Office, and make it discover, to the ultimate advantage of the taxpayer, sources of revenue of which it is now oblivious. He instances the parcel post, where there is competition, and where nevertheless the Post Office holds its own. As to the improvement in convenience caused by competition we have no doubt. It is an immense advantage to be able to send off a special messenger with a parcel or letter from almost any rural or urban post-office, but we should never have acquired this boon bat for the messenger companies. We confess, however, that we cannot face the risk of revenue quite so lightly as Lord Farrer, or altogether endorse his drastic proposal.