HC Deb 02 September 1887 vol 320 cc905-6
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bothnal Green, S.W.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether it is a fact that the proprietor of a weekly newspaper, The Miller, duty authorised by the Post Office in 1877 in a certain form submitted for approval, in which it has been published for the past nine years, has received notice that the withdrawal of its registration will take place in the present month, after which the paper in question will no longer be transmitted at the halfpenny rate of postage; if he can state why this publication, consisting of current topics and of articles relating thereto, with advertisements, and being printed and published in the United Kingdom, in numbers at intervals of not more than seven days, is not entitled to the privileges of other newspapers; whether, having regard to the long usage of transmission (nearly 10 years) and under various Postmasters General, he will consider the advisability of granting a special sanction for the continuance of the terms as originally granted; and, whether the request of the proprietor for an extension of time for one year, to enable him to complete existing contracts, has been refused?

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

The ordinary weekly issue of The Miller consists of about six pages only; this passes, and will continue to pass, at a halfpenny postage. The proprietor of The Miller newspaper has been informed that the monthly Technical Issue of that publication, consisting of about 100 pages, will not be permitted to pass in this country as a newspaper after the end of the present month. The intention of the Legislature in passing the Act of 1870 was to make a clear distinction between weekly publications and those issued at greater intervals. I hold in my hand copies of the weekly and of the monthly issue of The Miller, and the House will not fail to appreciate the immense difference between them. The one is really a newspaper, the other is practically a magazine. A great concession was made in reducing the postages on newspapers; and I feel it my duty to put an end to the abuse of that concession, which would otherwise become very prevalent. Notice to the proprietor of The Millar was given in April last, and I have intimated to him that I must insist upon payment of the legal—that is, the book—postage after the end of this month.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether it is not a fact that in 1878—that is, eight years after the Act to which he has referred was passed—The Miller, substantially in its present form, was registered by the Post Office Authorities?


I do not believe The Miller was ever registered in its present form; but if it ever was it must have been by inadvertence.