A PLAN for augmenting the postal revenue in the United States is now under consideration by the Post Office Department. It relates to return postage or an economical method of getting answers to advertisements, inquiries, etc., whereby the advertiser or enquirer will pay postage only on the replies he actually receives. The plan is described by Henry A. Castle, former auditor for the U.S. Post Office Department, in Putnam’s Monthly.
The difficulty has been in the past that firms enclosing return cards in their circular letters have lost so much
money through the non-return of the cards, that many of them have given up the idea altogether. A system which would make it possible for them to pay postage only on the cards actually returned would be most popular.
A simple plan for accomplishing this result has been devised, by means of which the PostOffice Department, in co-operation with a business organization interested in extending the facility to all parts of the country, can accommodate the public, while enormously increasing the post-office revenues.
The device now being considered by the Department consists of a postal card and envelope of such form or color as will permit it to
De readily sepa* cited from other mail matter and bearing a specialty designed stamp. These cards and envelopes are to be manufactured by the Department, sold for cash and distributed to the persons and firms who will send them out enclosed in circulars, for advertising purposes. collection of news. etc.
There will be purchased, in advance. United States postage-stamps to the value of $100,000. to bo placed on deposit with the Department. as a nominal prepayment of the postage on all matter returned. The patrons of the system will send out these cards and envelopes to their correspondents, who will use them for mailing »eplies. orders, etc., without affixing additional stamps and therefore without cost to
themselves. The special design on the return envelope or card, only on being mailed, becomes a stamp in fact and in law—the certificate of the Government that the postage has been paid. The deposit is kept intact by daily payments at the receiving offices covering the actual postage on such mail as is received.
The promoters of the scheme estimate that the net increase of annual postal revenue as a result of its adoption would be at least $16,000,000, which would about offset the current deficit.
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