§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked the Postmaster General, If large quantities of letters recently sent through 1403 the post, containing matter relating to the Imperial Institute, are stamped with the words "official paid;" whether ordinary prepaid letters have merely the word "paid" so stamped; whether the words "official paid" always mean that money has been actually received by the Post Office for the postage of all the letters on which these words are stamped; if not, what is the exact ordinary meaning of the words "official paid," when used by the Post Office Department; and, whether such words have not, in some cases, been used to mark letters which have been sent through the post without any money payment?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
In reply to the hon. Gentleman, I beg to state that the Imperial Institute pays for its postage; but that instead of paying letter by letter an account is kept, and rendered quarterly, of the postage on the whole correspondence emanating from the office of the Imperial Institute. This correspondence is marked "official paid," to indicate that no charge is to be collected on delivery. There are two stamps in use—one being the "official paid" stamp, and the other the "paid" stamp. The latter stamp is only used when a large number of letters or circulars are posted at one time, and the amount of postage is paid at the time of posting. In the result, it makes no difference to the Revenue which stamp is used.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, he was not aware; but he would make inquiry if the hon. Gentleman gave Notice of a Question.