HC Deb 18 July 1889 vol 338 cc729-30

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether it is the practice to charge the public for impressing halfpenny stamps on their own sheets of cardboard; whether the fee for doing this work was 1s. 6d. for every quire six months ago; whether the rate has now been raised to 2s. 6d.; whether the former rate defrayed the expenses of the work done; whether there is any objection to the public putting halfpenny stamps on their own postcards, as is the practice in France, Germany, and Italy; whether he is aware that no evidence beyond the mere statement of the Secretary of the Post Office was given before the Select Committee on the Revenue Estimates last year that there is a loss on the halfpenny postage business; and, whether he has any documentary evidence to show there is a loss on the halfpenny postal business of the British Post Office?


If the hon. Member will refer to the Reports of the answers to questions in this House he will find that my hon. Friend the Secretary of the Treasury, on the 9th inst., answered the first four of the questions which he has now addressed to me, and I beg to refer him to that answer. As regards question No. 5, that also has been answered by me on the 27th ult., and I would refer the hon. Member to that answer as well as to the answer which I have just given. As regards the remaining questions, I would remind the hon. Member that the Select Committee to which he alludes adopted the opinion that there is a loss on the halfpenny business of the Post Office, and embodied it in paragraph 34 of the draft Report which was passed unchallenged by the hon. Member himself, who sat on the Committee. I am not prepared to depart from that opinion, in which I also concurred.