Post Office and Telegraph Act 1920
(10 & 11 Geo 5 c.40, 16th August 1920)
An Act to amend the Law with respect to the statutory limits on Postal and Telegraph Rates, and with respect to the remuneration to be paid to railway companies for the conveyance of Postal Parcels, and otherwise to amend the Post Office Acts, 1908 to 1915.
[16th August 1920]
Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1.—(1) Paragraphs (i) and (ii) of proviso (b) of section two of the Post Office Act, 1908, as amended by the Post Office Act, 1918 (which limit the rates of prepaid postage which may be fixed by the Treasury for inland postcards and printed packets), shall cease to have effect.
(2) The expression 'printed packet' has in this Act the same meaning as the expression 'book packet' in the Post Office Acts, 1908 to 1915, and shall be substituted for that expression wherever that expression occurs in those Acts.
2.—(1) A maximum rate of one shilling for the first twelve words of each ordinary written telegram or for an ordinary written telegram of less than twelve words, and one penny for each additional word over twelve words, shall be substituted for the maximum rates specified in section two of the Telegraph Act, 1885, as amended by paragraph (b) of section one of the Post Office and Telegraph Act, 1915, and the Postmaster-General with the consent of the Treasury may direct that an additional sum of sixpence shall be charged in respect of telegrams handed in for transmission on Christmas Day, Good Friday, or Sunday.
(2) A maximum rate of one penny up to the first six ounces and an additional halfpenny for every six ounces or fractional part of six ounces over and above the first or any additional six ounces up to such maximum weight as may be fixed by the Postmaster-General shall be substituted for the maximum rate for each inland registered newspaper under paragraph (iii) of proviso (b) of subsection (1) of section two of the Post Office Act, 1908, as amended by paragraph (a ) of section one of the Post Office and Telegraph Act, 1915.
(3) Any contract for the supply or delivery to subscribers of any publications at rates including postage being publications the rate of postage on which is increased after the passing of this Act and before the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, may, as respects the supply or delivery of those publications, be determined by any party to the contract as from the date on which the rate is raised by notice given to the other party to the contract not later than fourteen days after the increase of rate takes effect.
3.—(1) In order to ascertain for the purposes of the Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882, the gross receipts of the Postmaster-General from parcels conveyed by railway, the Postmaster-General shall in every year cause returns, comprising such particulars as may be agreed between the Postmaster-General and the London Railway Clearing Committee to be necessary for the purposes of this section, to be obtained with respect to the parcels so conveyed during such period in the year or during such periods in different parts of the year as may be so agreed, and such returns shall, so far as may be agreed between the Postmaster-General and the said committee, be in substitution for, or in modification of, the accounts which the Postmaster-General is required to render under subsection (1) of section five of the Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882.
In the case of any such agreement the amount to be paid to the railway companies through the London Railway Clearing Committee shall, instead of being an amount determined in manner provided by subsection (1) of section five of the Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882, be such amount as may be agreed upon between the Postmaster-General and the said committee on the basis of the returns, and nothing in that Act shall require the Postmaster-General to keep accounts showing the number of parcels actually conveyed by railway during any period, except in so far as may be necessary for the purposes of the returns herein provided for.
(2) The Postmaster-General shall afford to the secretary of the London Railway Clearing Committee a reasonable opportunity of inspecting any returns obtained under this section.
(3) The amount of the railway remuneration payable in respect of any year shall be paid to the London Railway Clearing Committee in four quarterly instalments.
(4) The words 'and may pay the same out of the moneys for the time being to the credit of the Postmaster-General at the Bank of England, but such payments shall be charged in the accounts of the Post Office to the gross receipts in respect of parcels' in subsection (1) of section five of the Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882, shall be repealed as from the first day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, and the amount of the railway remuneration payable in respect of the year commencing on that date and any subsequent year shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament.
(5) During such time as possession of any railway of which His Majesty has control at the commencement of this Act by virtue of section sixteen of the Regulation of the Forces Act, 1871, is retained under that section as amended by any subsequent enactment, the amount of the railway remuneration for the purposes of the Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882, shall, notwithstanding anything in that Act, be a sum equal to eleven-twentieths of the amount which would have been received by the Postmaster-General by way of gross receipts if there had been no increase in the rates of postage for parcels since the first day of August, nineteen hundred and fourteen, with the addition of such an amount as the Postmaster-General may, after consultation with the Minister of Transport and with the approval of the Treasury, from time to time determine.
(6) Subject as otherwise expressly provided, this section shall be deemed to have had effect as from the first day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty.
4. Section six of the Post Office Act, 1908 (which exempts letters of seamen and soldiers from the ordinary rates of postage in certain circumstances), shall cease to have effect.
5. So much of section nineteen of the Post Office Act, 1908, as allows the Treasury to reverse or modify the decision of the Postmaster-General as to the proper description of any postal packet, and so much of section twenty-one of that Act as allows the Treasury to reverse or modify the decision of the Postmaster-General with respect to the admission or removal from the register of a publication, shall cease to have effect.
6. This Act shall extend to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and the Royal Courts of the Channel Islands shall register this Act accordingly.
7.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Post Office and Telegraph Act, 1920, and so far as it relates to the Post Office may be cited with the Post Office Acts, 1908 to 1915, as the Post Office Acts, 1908 to 1920, and so far as it relates to telegraphs may be cited with the Telegraph Acts, 1863 to 1916, and the Telegraph (Money) Act, 1920, as the Telegraph Acts, 1863 to 1920.
(2) The enactments specified in the schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that schedule.
S C H E D U L E.
|Session and Chapter.
|Extent of Repeal.
|45 & 46 Vict. c. 74.
|The Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882.
|Subsection (2) of section six.
|8 Edw. 7. c. 48.
|The Post Office Act, 1908.
|Paragraphs (i) and (ii) of proviso (b) of subsection (1) of section two; section six; in section nineteen the words from 'save that' to the end of the section; in subsection (3) of section twenty-one the words from 'save that' to the end of the subsection.
|5 & 6 Geo. 5. c. 82.
|The Post Office and Telegraph Act, 1915.
|Paragraphs (a) and (b) of section one.
|8 & 9 Geo. 5. c. 10.
|The Post Office Act, 1918.
|The whole Act.