The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, MAY 3, 1890. OCEAN POSTAGE.
The efficacy of persistence is explified by the that Mr Henniker-1 Heaton in his crusade in favor of cheap ocean postage has, notwithstandstanding the opposition and even ridicule which he has had to encounter, at last so far prevailed as to have induced the Postmaster-General to ' bring down proposals in that direction. In this case the truth of the old adage that "history repeats itself" is once more vindicated, for the experience of Mr Heaton has been but a renewal of that of Sir Rowland Hill, whose inland penny postage proposals were first denounced, then ridiculed, and finally adopted, with the result of such an enormous increase in correspondence as to make penny postage infinitely more remunerative than was the previously existing shilling rate with a consequently very limited despatch of letters. Truej Mr Heaton has not succeeded in obtaining the adoption or even the proposed adoption of a penny ocean postage rate, ( but he is on the road to attain this, the proposal of the Postmaster-General being to reduce the outward rate from England to the colonies from 6d to 2d provided the colonies are agreeable to such reduction,. Of course this will involve a corresponding reduction at no distant date of the rate of postage from the colonies to the Mother Country and in view of this there is evident hesitancy on the part of the several Colonial Governments to agree to the proposal, it being feared that the result will be a very considerable loss of revenue. This, no doubt, will at first be th^ case, but we venture to think that it 1 will not be long ere a steady increase in the volume of correspondence will overtake this and in the end produce as large if not larger postal revenue than is now derived from the sixpenny rate, If the experiment be made, as we hope it will, and if it succeed as we believe will be the case, then the further step of a reduction to a penny will,assuredly speedily follow. On the whole we think that New Zealand at anyrate will do well to give her consent to Mr Raikes' proposition. It is to be regretted though that the Government should be called upon to take the/responsibility of giving an immediate reply, seeing that in another six weeks it would have been possible to obtain the decision of Parliament upon the matter. As it is, however, the Government have no alternative but to decide the matter themselves either one way or tho other, and we hope that they Avill have the courage to decide it in the affirmative.