Page:The Post Office of Fifty Years Ago.djvu/114

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no operation could be more simple or more free from the possibility of error.

I am aware that many consider the required payment in advance objectionable. In the Appendix, (page 96,) the principle is fully considered. I have there shown a modification of the preceding plan which might be adopted, if it should be thought impolitic at once to attempt the universal adoption of that principle. I do not insert the modification here, because, however useful it may be as a temporary expedient, I am decidedly of opinion that it ought to form no part of a permanent plan, and that to resort to it at all would be a step of very questionable policy.


The Commissioners of Revenue Inquiry begin their Report on the Post Office as follows: "The facility of frequent, punctual, and quick communication which the institution of the Post Office was calculated to secure, may be justly classed among the elements of profitable commerce. It is essential to the purposes of Government, and subservient to all the ends of national policy.

"In this view the establishment of the Post Office possesses a character distinct from, and an importance superior to its title to consideration as a productive branch of the revenue. Nor is its utility in this respect to be appreciated solely by the revenue derived