HC Deb 20 June 1870 vol 202 c490

said, he would beg to ask the Postmaster General, Whether his attention has been called to two Letters which appeared in "The Times" of June 13 and 14, relative to a certain British Coal Company, carrying on their business in England, who, by posting their Trade Circulars in Belgium, at a cost of one halfpenny, thereby diminishing the Imperial Revenue, which under existing Conventions they are obliged, in order to obtain this low rate of postage, to print abroad; and, whether, in his judgment, Her Majesty's Government could introduce some measure to prevent the recurrence of this practice, By which not only must the Imperial Revenue suffer, but by which the general printing trade in England might be damaged?


My attention, Sir, has been called to the proceedings of the firm in question, and it is no doubt true that under the existing postal convention between this country and Belgium, trade circulars can be posted in Belgium at the rate mentioned by my hon. Friend, to be delivered in England. In reply to the latter part of the Question, I may say I do not think there is any necessity for the introduction of a measure to prevent the recurrence of this practice, which will be most effectually checked as soon as the intended measure of the Government, reducing the postage of circulars in this country to a halfpenny, comes into operation. There will then be no longer any inducement to people to send circulars abroad to be posted. What I have just said will also be a reply to the Question of which the hon. Member for Southwark (Colonel Beresford) has given Notice.