26 MARCH 1887, Page 3

Mr. Henniker Heaton, the Parliamentary advocate of an Imperial penny

post, has received and published Mr. Raikes's refusal to entertain the question. Mr. Raikes does not dispute that the Colonists wish for cheap postage, or that the present rate, £1,700 a ton, for letters is absurdly dear ; but wants to know where he is to get his revenue from. Mr. Heaton, in answer, tells him he ought to deduct the subsidies he pays from his account of expenditure, or to deliver samples within England more cheaply, or, in short, to get the money where he can, and so, as it seems to us, misses the best answer. The penny will pay if Mr. Raikes will bargain with the steamship owners, by reason of the enormous multiplication of letters. Let him get an Act authorising him to compel every steamer to carry letterboxes at £5 a ton, about double the rate for other goods, and then accept every letter marked " ship letter" for a penny. He would soon find, as his predecessors did, that quantity made up for amount. If that is too bold for him, let him try the new rate to Australia and the Cape only by direct steamers, and see what his loss is. With thirty millions of people at one end and three millions at the other, there would soon be ample revenue. We do not believe in the least in Mr. Heaton's argument about cheap postage binding the Empire together. We have a penny post to Dublin, and are not bound to Ireland at all. But we do believe that a penny post is con- venient and civilising; and the business of the Post Office, when- ever it can be done without too much expense, is to introduce civilising conveniences.