Letter from John Masefield, Ralph Vaughan Williams and members of the National Book League to the Editor of The Times

Letter No.: 
[Saturday November 26, 1955]

National Book League,
7, Albemarle Street, W.1.

May we appeal to you, Sir, to try to make public the tragic results that may arise from the peculiar proposal that books shall no longer be allowed favourable rates of postal transmission?
A virtual doubling of postal charges on books can but have a deleterious effect on the transmission of knowledge, culture, and good entertainment, not only through book-trade channels but also in the form of library exchanges. Nor can one be unmindful of the fact that for over a century, and until the present proposals come into force, the postal authorities of this country have always recognised the special position of books and periodicals. Indeed, should this change be permitted, Great Britain will stand alone among the civilized countries of the world as having completed an entirely retrograde step.
Could we, therefore, through you, beg the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Postmaster-General to reconsider their decision?
Yours, &c.,
John Masefield, Past President, National Book League
Norman Birkett, Immediate Past President, National Book League
Henry Dale, Walter de la Mare; T.S. Eliot, Richard Livingstone, Harold Nicolson, G.M. Trevelyan, Stanley Unwin, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Vice-Presidents
K.B. Potter, Chairman
Wyn Griffith, Deputy Chairman
J.E. Morpurgo, Director.

General notes: 

Printed in The Times on Saturday, November 26, 1955, p. 7, headed "Postage for Books: Proposed increase criticized". See also VWL5047 for another letter on the subject.

The Times (53388), Saturday November 26, 1955, p. 7.