HC Deb 10 March 1892 vol 2 cc528-9

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether, in order to simplify the express delivery of letters, he will have provided for sale to the public crimson stamps similar in shape to those used in the United States, and having the word "Express" printed across them, so that a person who wishes to send a letter by express post may do so, as in the United States, by affixing such a stamp and posting the letter, without the necessity of giving his name and address to a postal official; and whether he will also provide crimson envelopes marked "Express," and each impressed with a 3d. stamp, to be used as aforesaid for the express post?


A person wishing to send a letter by the Post Office express service can do so without giving his name and address to any postal official. Also, by marking the letter in the manner prescribed by the regulations, he can, if he wishes, post it in any letter-box, and it will be picked out from the ordinary correspondence and delivered as an express letter. In these circumstances, it does not seem necessary to issue a special stamp for express letters. Moreover, there is a serious objection to the use of a special stamp, because persons would often not have one in hand at a moment of emergency. If the use of the stamps were optional, so that some express letters bore them and others not, there is a serious risk lest letters not bearing such stamps might be overlooked. The same objection applies to the use of special envelopes. If a special stamp or envelope were issued, about 17,000 offices would have to be supplied with them, and this would involve a good deal of labour and cost.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, notwithstanding his statement, with the very express letter which I sent to him, enclosing this question, I had to give my name and address to the officials, who would not accept it otherwise?


I am told it is quite unnecessary.