Page:The Post Office of Fifty Years Ago.djvu/48

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THE POST OFFICE OF FIFTY YEARS AGO.

and the highest rate of postage ought not to be more than 8d. or 9d. at most."

*****

Further evidence upon this point is also in my possession, which can be submitted, should it be deemed necessary.

Rowland Hill.

Hampstead, 17th March, 1864.

 

In reply to this the Treasury at once assured Sir Rowland Hill that they had had no intention whatever of questioning the originality of his scheme of postal reform.[1]

[With reference to the above memorandum, it may be useful to state that ever since the Uniform Penny Postage became an admitted success, numerous claimants—generally insane—have come forward from time to time, each asserting that he, and not Sir Rowland Hill, was the real originator of the plan, or of some of its essential features. Similar claims—mostly founded on some hallucination—are constantly forthcoming to every important improvement. No one, however, has yet explained what could have induced all these early postal reformers, without one single exception, to adopt the extraordinary course of carefully destroying every shred of documentary evidence which would have been useful in establishing their claims; not one of them having been able to produce a single published document, containing his supposed-to-be-similar suggestions, which is not

  1. Life of Sir Rowland Hill and History of Penny Postage, Vol. II., p. 394.

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