MR. MOWBRAY (Lancashire, Prestwich)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether his attention has been drawn to the issue of a prospectus of a Company purporting to supply a 1d. postage stamp, envelope, and sheet of note paper for one halfpenny; whether such a proposal is in any way calculated to affect the revenues of the Post Office; and, whether it is in accordance with the Post Office Acts?
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
further asked, Whether the right hon. Gentleman has had ample notice from the inventor on the subject of the Halfpenny Post Scheme; and, whether he has, during the past few days, had brought under his notice an amended envelope which meets the requirements of the Post Office?
§ MR. BYRON REED (Bradford, E.)
asked, Is it true that letters under the new plan of the Halfpenny Postage Company have for some time passed through the Post Office with embossed as well as adhesive stamps; is it true that the authorities of the Post Office have had samples and particulars of these envelopes in their possession for some time, with notifications of their being about to be used; and, why was no notice taken of these communications until after the Company was formed?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
My attention has been called to the prospectus of the Company referred to. The promoters of the Company came personally to me in the course of last autumn, and I discussed the scheme with them fully. I am not aware that the proposed operations, as described in the prospectus, would directly affect the Public Revenue. The use of the word "Post," however, as part of the title of the Company seems to me to be objectionable; inasmuch as the public might be led thereby to suppose that a post was actually being carried on by the 24 Company, which, of course, would not be the case. The Company has been requested to alter their title by the omission of this word. Letters purporting to be sent under the scheme of the Company have been observed recently to be passing through the post having a 1d. postage stamp embossed upon some portion of the paper enclosed. Inasmuch as it is required in the case of letters prepaid by means of an embossed stamp that the stamp shall be upon the outer envelope or cover the letters in question have been treated as contrary to the Regulations of the Post Office. A specimen envelope, which appears to be in accordance with the Regulations, was forwarded to the Post Office for inspection on the 27th ultimo, and the inventor has been informed that such an envelope would be allowed to pass through the post. The envelopes of the Company, when stamped with an embossed stamp, can only be sold by persons licensed to sell stamps by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.