HC Deb 06 April 1897 vol 48 cc626-7

I beg to ask the Secretary, to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, (1) whether with the advice and assistance of the Controller of Stamps at Somerset House, Messrs. Thomas de la Rue and Co., the manufacturers of stamps for the Government, are now preparing stamps for issue to the public in. furtherance of the objects of the Prince of Wales's Hospital Fund by way of memento of the commemoration of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee; and (2) whether there is any truth in the statement that the Post Office authorities declined to lend any assistance in the distribution and sale of these stamps, although the Council of the fund offered to pay any expenses that might fall upon the Department for the rendering of that service; and, if so, what are the reasons for such action on the part of the Post Office authorites, seeing that the object is a national one directly connected with the commemoration of the 60 years' reign of the Sovereign?


The Postmaster General has no knowledge of the facts stated in the first paragraph of the hon. Member's Question. The Postmaster General did decline—though with great regret—to undertake the sale of stamps for the benefit of the hospital fund, on the ground that if the Department once embarked on such an undertaking it could hardly refuse to extend it hereafter to other subscriptions of Imperial or national importance, and the Post Office would consequently commit itself to a new kind of business of almost indefinite amount, totally independent of that for which the Post Office exists, and which, would impose a very serious strain on the heavily-burdened staff.