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United Kingdom Postmaster General

In the United Kingdom, the Postmaster General is a now defunct ministerial position.

The king's letters to his subjects are known to have been carried by relays of couriers as long ago as the 15th century. In 1510, Sir Brian Tuke was appointed as "Master of the King's Post". In 1609 it was decreed that letters could only be carried and delivered by persons authorised by the Postmaster General. 1660 saw the establishment of the General Letter Office, this would later become the General Post Office (GPO).

The Telegraph Act of 1868 established the office of the Postmaster General's right to exclusively maintain electric telegraphs. This would subsequently extend to telecommunications and broadcasting.

The title of "Postmaster General" was abolished under the Post Office Act of 1969. A new public authority governed by a chairman was established under the name of the "Post Office." The position of "Postmaster General" was replaced with "Minister of Posts and Telecommunications".

Notable former holders of this post include Tony Benn.



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