HC Deb 08 June 1896 vol 41 c604

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that when an envelope is wrongly addressed, but the right address is given fully at the foot of the letter, it is the rule of the Post Office not to deliver it at the correct address but to return it to the sender; and, whether the Postmaster General approves of this rule or will alter it?


The practice adopted has not been exactly as stated by the hon. Member. If, when a misdirected letter is opened in the Returned Letter Office, it happens to be noticed that the correct address is given inside, the letter is re-issued to that address instead of being returned to the sender; but the Post Office does not undertake to read through the contents of misdirected letters, and it has not hitherto been the duty of the Returning Officers to observe whether the name and address of the addressee appear at the head or foot of the letter. To make this a part of the Returning Officers' duty in every case on the chance of discovering a discrepancy between the address inside and the address on the cover would add considerably to the work, and the Postmaster General does not think it desirable thus to increase the heavy work the mistakes of the letter-writing public already throw upon the Department.