HC Deb 11 February 1887 vol 310 cc1214-5
MR. KNOWLES (Salford, W.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether under section 6 of "The Post Office Act, 1870," which, in effect and so far as material, is that a publication composed "wholly or in great part" of news, with or without advertisements, is a newspaper, he requires the greater part of such a publication to be composed of news; and, if so, whether he will make regulations to reconcile that section with section 1 of "The Newspaper Libel and Registration Act, 1881," by which, so far as material, a newspaper may be composed "only or principally" of advertisements?

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

In the Act of 1870 the object of the Legislature was to give facilities, by means of an exceptional rate of postage, to the dissemination of news and the discussion of the current topics of the day; and the intention of the section to which the hon. Member refers was that, to be accepted as a newspaper, a publication must consist principally of news. The Act of 1881 (which has no reference whatever to the Post Office) was, of course, passed for quite a different purpose; and the definition of a newspaper was accordingly a different one. No regulations could be made by me for the reconcilement of provisions in different Acts of Parliament; but even if such a thing were within my power, it would be quite unjustifiable to give exceptional privileges to advertisements in the way which the hon. Member seems to indicate.