HC Deb 05 August 1887 vol 318 c1349
MR. H. GARDNER (Essex, Saffron Walden)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether printed circulars in unsealed envelopes, with a halfpenny stamp, from the Continent, are passed unchallenged by the Post Office; whether similar circulars in similar envelopes posted in England are charged 1d.; and, whether, if this be the case, he will cause such changes in the postal arrangements as shall place the British trader on an equality with the foreigner in this important manner of advertising?

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

I understand that the facts are as indicated in the first two Questions of the hon. Member. Printed circulars in unsealed envelopes from the Continent are admitted into this country with a halfpenny stamp, in consequence of the provisions of the Postal Union which make this course obligatory. The question of allowing a similar practice in this country was full considered by my Predecessors, Lord Wolverton and Mr. Fawcett, who were advised that, in the eye of the law, an unclosed envelope having anything in it is, to all intents and purposes, a letter.