§ MR. M'LAREN
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it could be 1409 arranged to issue a Treasury Order, authorising the Postmaster General to convey, free of postage, for every Member of Parliament his own copy of the Blue Books and other Parliamentary Papers to such persons and places as he might address them to, it being understood that the Post Office authorities should not be bound to forward them except at such times as might be found most convenient for the departmental arrangements?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
, in reply, said, he must remind the hon. Member and the House that some years ago the privilege of franking letters was withdrawn from Members, and they were obliged to pay the postage of letters to their constituents. The duty of conveying letters was primarily the first duty of the Post Office, and the presence of bulky matters, such as Parliamentary Papers and Blue Books, was exceedingly inconvenient, and tended to delay the transmission of mails. He should also say that any new duty imposed upon a public Department, such as the conveyance of such bulky matters, tended to increase the charges of the Department. Accordingly, after a due consideration of the case, he thought it would not be advisable to recommend that such books and papers should be conveyed free of charge by the Post Office.