14 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 3

* * * * Post- Office Possibilities Lord Wolmer's proposal

that the Post Office should be turned over to a public utility company on what are known as gas company terms (providing that every increase in dividend above a certain figure shall be accom- panied by a reduction in charges) is of interest because of its resemblance to the doctrine the more moderate members of the Socialist Party are tending increasingly to preach, that the solution of the problem of the control of industry by the State lies in the creation of semi- autonomous undertakings like the Port of London Authority or the B.B.C. Control by the State is, of course, exactly what Lord Wolmer wants to get away from, but there is no fundamental difference between his idea of a public utility company in which the State might be the principal, or even the sole, shareholder, and a concern managed by a board appointed mainly by the Government of the day on an entirely non-political basis. It is easy enough to criticize the Post Office, and as a Government Department it is rarely heard in its own defence, but does it really, even on its telephone side, cut so poor a figure beside, for example, the privately-owned railways ? * * * *