HC Deb 20 June 1895 vol 34 cc1539-40

I beg to ask the Postmaster General—(1) whether he is aware that on the 6th instant a large number of letters, each bearing a United States two cent stamp, which had arrived from New York, were delivered in London, a fine of 8d. being exacted from the recipient in each case, being twice the amount of deficient postage, and that on being opened each envelope was found to contain circulars of an offensive description; (2) whether the fine for an inland letter of the same weight on which no postage whatever had been paid would have been 2d. only; and (3) whether he will endeavour to arrange with the other Governments belonging to the Postal Union that in the case of the posting of a large number in identical terms from one country to another the deficient postage should be recoverable from the sender instead of the innocent addressee?


The facts are as stated in the first and second paragraphs of the hon. Member's questions. The letters arrived in this country marked in America as insufficiently paid, and it was the duty of this Department to double the deficiency and to collect the amount. There would be practical difficulties in making any such arrangement as that suggested in the last paragraph; but in the present case, which is one of a very exceptional nature, representations will be made to the Postmaster General of the United States.