HC Deb 12 April 1897 vol 48 c944
MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, as the postal charges between Austria-Hungary and Germany, between the United States and Canada, and between France and Algeria are identical with, the domestic rates of the country of origin in each instance, any doubt can be entertained as to the right of the United Kingdom to enter into similar arrangements with the Governments of other parts of the Empire; and whether, instead of merely strongly urging the recognition of this right, as the Government has already undertaken, to do, an authoritative declaration of the complete freedom of action of the various postal authorities of the British Empire will be made at the forthcoming Postal Union Congress?


The circumstances in the cases which my right hon. Friend has instanced are not the same as in the case of the United Kingdom and its Colonies, the mails to and from many of the British Colonies having to pass through foreign countries and paying transit rates to the country of transit.


Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that we are bound not to make any arrangement with our own Colonies?


No, I do not wish my right hon. Friend to understand that at all.