HC Deb 26 April 1888 vol 325 cc594-5
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether his attention has been called to the following letter, which appears as an advertisement in the supplement to The Drapers' Record, of the 10th of March, 1888:— Lord Wolseley begs to acknowledge, with many thanks, the ax of bootlaces which Messrs. Farre and Co. have been so good as to send him, and have so flatteringly named 'Sir Garnet' bootlaces. War Office, 6th Feb. 1883; whether the above letter was sent in an envelope, as represented in the same supplement, stamped "Horse Guards, War Office, official paid;" whether it is the recognized practice for servants of the State to write to their tradesmen, on matters not connected with the Public Service, at the public expense; whether he can give any estimate of the loss to the Revenue entailed by such practice; and, whether there is any reason why a highly paid officer of the State should enjoy such immunity from the expense of stamping his private letters, any more than the unpaid servants of the public who are Members of Parliament?

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

, in reply, said, his attention had not, before the Question of the hon. Member, been called to the advertisement referred to by the hon. Member. He had no means of knowing the contents of any letters which were certified by other Departments as being on the Public Service; and the Post Office was not in a position to ascertain whether servants of the State did conduct their private correspondence at the expense of the public. If he might hazard an opinion with regard to these particular bootlaces, in which the hon. Gentleman seemed to take a particular interest, he would say that it seemed to him probable that Lord Wolseley, in writing on the subject, was acknowledging apparently some sample which had been sent to him for the Public Service.