HC Deb 08 July 1889 vol 337 cc1677-8
MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, although the cost of the manufacture and supply of postage stamps, postcards, &c., is charged upon the Post Office Vote, the administration of these moneys vests in the Commissioners of Inland Revenue; whether, in view of the evidence given last Session before the Committee on Revenue Estimates, Her Majesty's Government intend to allow this system to continue; and whether care has been taken that no clause is inserted in the contract now been entered into between the Commissioners of Inland Revenue and Messrs. De la Rue, which would place any impediment in the way of a transfer of the administration of the Post Office Vote, for the manufacture, &c., of postal stationery, to the Postmaster General?


My answer to the first paragraph of this question is yes. As to the second question the matter has been before the Government; there are considerable difficulties in the way of altering the present system, and the advantages to be gained are very doubtful, but I am not in a position to say what the final judgment may be. I am not aware of any clause in the contract with Mr. De la Rue which will fetter or limit the discretion of the Government in this respect.