§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General when the proceedings of the Vienna Postal Conference of last year will be laid upon the Table of the House; whether he is aware that these proceedings have been presented to the German Parliament; and whether the record of the proceedings will include a statement of the concessions obtained at Vienna, and referred to by the late Postmaster General as giving this country "a freer hand" in communicating 1232 with the British Colonies, apart from the Postal Union; if not, whether he has any objection to append such a statement to the proceedings in question?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
It has not been customary to lay before Parliament the proceedings of Postal Congresses. The abridged Report of the proceedings of the Vienna Congress, which is the sole record of these proceedings, is written in the French language, and fills nearly a thousand large pages. It is not thought that this great mass of technical matter and administrative detail would interest the House of Commons. The Convention of Vienna, which was signed on behalf of this country, will doubtless be presented to Parliament in due course by the Treasury, but presumably not till after ratification. This Department has no knowledge of the proceedings having been presented to the German Parliament. The revised Conventions and agreements which were the outcome of the Vienna Congress have been presented. The third paragraph of the question relates to my predecessor's answer to a question on 17th July last on the results of the Vienna Congress. Mr. Raikes said nothing about a "freer hand." He said the Congress had "signed a new Convention, under which Her Majesty's Government will be free in important particulars relative to foreign and colonial postage." If that is the main purport of the question, my hon. Friend may understand that is so.