HC Deb 19 August 1889 vol 339 cc1662-3

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been drawn to specimens of money orders designed by Mr. Alexander Downs, Post Office, Monks-town, Dublin, entered at Stationers' Hall, and submitted to the Postmaster General in July 1858; whether any communication from Mr. Downs was received by the Postmaster General in 1880, when the question of postal notes was brought before Parliament; and, whether, in the event of other claimants appearing, Mr. Downs' claims to priority will receive due consideration?


Yes, Sir; my attention has been drawn to Mr. Downs' case. I find that, by direction of Mr. Fawcett, Mr. Downs was informed, in reply to the communication which he addressed to the Department in 1880, that— Previously to the receipt of his suggestion a similar suggestion had been submitted to the Post Office, and that in bringing forward the proposed measures for the adoption of postal notes, the Department did not in any way avail itself of his plan. To this I have only to add that I have myself seen letters addressed to the Department long before the year 1858, in which suggestions of the same kind have been made. It is not my intention to recommend any reward to any person for any invention in connection with postal orders.