HC Deb 05 March 1891 vol 351 cc225-6
MR. JACOB BRIGHT (Manchester, S.W.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General if the Post Office has the right, after determining the number of words in a telegram and securing prepayment, to demand a further payment if, through the inefficiency of their servants, they discover an increased charge should have been made by reason of more words being in the message than were counted at the time; and, if they have the right, will he give directions that the sender shall have the original message shown him, and in the case of long messages of several hundred words be allowed every facility to examine such messages?


The payment for a Press telegram is determined by Act of Parliament, and no servant of the Post Office, whether efficient or inefficient, has power to vary the charge. It has been decided in the High Court of Justice that where an insufficient payment has been made at the counter in the first instance, the sender of a message is afterwards liable for the balance of the charge. The fullest facilities are afforded to senders to re-count their messages if they have any doubt as to the correctness of a claim for further payment. If the hon. Member has in his mind any case where these have not been allowed, and will communicate the circumstances to me, I will direct inquiry to be made.