HC Deb 14 February 1896 vol 37 c344
MR. R. ASCROFT (Oldham)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware of the great number of letters and telegrams that Members are called upon to forward to their constituents on Parliamentary business; and whether he will consult the Postmaster General with a view to the same being received from Members personally during the Session at the House of Commons Post Office, without stamps or payment?


The Act 3 and 4 Vic., Cap. 96 expressly abolished—and the abolition has been confirmed by the Statute Law Revision Act of 1891—any privileges of free postage which Members of Parliament had previously enjoyed. With regard to telegrams, the existing law contains no authority for permitting their receipt or transmission by Members of the House of Commons free of charge. The Postmaster General is therefore not prepared—and indeed is unable—to do what the hon. Member wishes. The hon. Member speaks of letters to constituents on Parliamentary business, but the Post master General would not be able to know what letters were to constituents, and if to constituents what letters were on Parliamentary business.