HC Deb 10 March 1896 vol 38 cc604-5
MR. J. M. WHITE (Forfar)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether he is aware that it is contrary to the practice of the Post Office to take note of requests clearly printed on the address side of envelopes for the early return to the senders of undeliverable correspondence orginating abroad; and, whether he will take steps to see that such letters are promptly returned to the senders.


Letters from abroad which cannot be delivered are retained in the Returned Letter Office for a week or a month, according to the distance of the countries of origin; and as letters so retained are frequently applied for by the addressees, it is believed that the rule, on the whole, is a convenient one. Letters bearing such requests as the hon. Member mentions are returned unopened to the country of origin. As, indeed, in this country the addressee, and not the addressor, is regarded as the rightful claimant of a letter, it follows that any request of the addressor must be disregarded till the addressee has had every opportunity which the Regulations afford him of claiming the letter.


I beg to ask the Lord Advocate—(1) if he can state how many of the 53 spoiled ballot papers at the recent election for the Montrose Burghs were not spoiled by the voters but by the neglect of the polling sheriffs in failing to stamp the papers; (2) where the neglect occurred; and (3) whether any notice has been taken of it with the view of preventing its recurrence?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Sir CHARLES PEARSON,) Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities

I would refer the hon. Member to Part I of the First Schedule of the Ballot Act, which prescribes the rules under which alone the information asked for can be obtained. The answer to the last paragraph is in the affirmative.