Page:The Post Office of Fifty Years Ago.djvu/172

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to require payment in advance, by either of the modes pointed out at page 37; to employ the short stages for the conveyance of the mails, their complete fitness for which has been demonstrated by the successful arrangements of the West India Dock Company; (as already stated;) and by these and other means which may readily be devised, to secure more frequent, rapid, and economical distribution.

As some parts of the district within the range of the threepenny-post ought, from the thinness of their population, to be placed under the arrangements for secondary distribution, (described at page 55,) this first application of the plan would try its working in all the important parts.

Finally, if this first step should show the necessity of any modification of the plan previous to its being brought into general operation; and if such modification should not have been provided for by the powers conferred on the Commissioners, the necessity for an amendment of the act would have been made so manifest that I conceive there would be no difficulty in effecting the required change. There would be nothing to undo, except to amend an act which had not been carried into effect, as the practicability of the proposed reduction of postage in the metropolitan district is undoubted, the whole cost of management, even under the present expensive arrangements and restricted correspondence, being only two-thirds of a penny per letter. To effect such a relief from taxation, and to render the facilities of communication adequate to the wants of the people in a district containing about one-twelfth of the population of the United Kingdom, would of itself be an immense improvement.