HC Deb 01 March 1880 vol 251 cc115-6

Order for Second Reading read.


said, he would like to state to the House what he proposed to do with regard to this Bill. The Government proposed to place upon the Table of the House Papers by which hon. Members would see the Regulations under which the Post Office would practically carry out the Bill, and he had also laid on the Table Amendments to the Bill, which he himself proposed to move, and which would, to a certain extent, modify and alter its character, so far as it then stood in print. One of the Amendments was that the form of the Post Office Order proposed to be established under that Bill should appear in a Schedule to the Bill itself, instead of being left to the Regulations to be framed by the Post Office. The form of money order would be stereotyped in the Bill. He had thought also that probably objection might be raised in Scotland and Ireland, as well, perhaps, as in England, with regard to the issue of money orders for the sum of £1, and he, therefore, proposed to restrict the issue of denominations below £1, and in the denominations as put in the Regulations 15s. would be the limit of the sum to be issued under these money orders. It had also been said that there was a fear of these orders issued to the public becoming too much of a paper circulation. To obviate that—although he was not prepared to admit that such would be the case, because, in fact, these orders would carry with them a poundage, which he thought would prevent any great issue—he proposed to reduce the time for which they were available from one year to six months. He had another Amendment, which provided that after six months, except under special circumstances which would have to be established, an order would be forfeited. He was prepared, when the time came, to argue that that issue would be an immense facility to the public generally, and a great advantage to the commercial world. He did not wish to enter upon that argument then; but he thought that the objections which had been taken to the Bill might as readily have been taken to the money orders issued when they were first established, and when the Post Office authorities were allowed to give the facilities to the public, which had been long enjoyed, without any attempt on the part of the Post Office to interfere with the private business of bankers, who had themselves sanctioned and encouraged the money order system. As he was anxious that the House should be in full possession of the Regulations to be enforced, he would ask that the second reading of the Bill be postponed for a fortnight.

Second Reading deferred till Monday 15th March.