§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether the notices sent out by a Benefit Society, such as the Goldsmiths' and Jewellers', are to be considered circulars or letters; and whether he will issue a general instruction, so that a uniform practice may be carried out at the various offices, and thus avoid the inconvenience caused by different interpretations of the Post Office Regulations?
§ * THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Sir J. FERGUSSON,) Manchester, N.E.
The notices sent out by Benefit Societies are treated in the post as circulars, passing at a halfpenny, provided that the statement of account is distinct from the circular. The Society in question does not appear to have conformed to this rule, with which I understand that generally the Friendly Societies are well contented. It is a modification expressly designed in their interest. The instruction issued is quite definite, but there has been in some cases a failure to comply with it. There is a substantial reason for the requirement; for if such circulars were allowed to contain varying particulars, all others must be allowed the same latitude, and a considerable loss of revenue would result.