HC Deb 29 April 1898 vol 56 cc1518-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, (1) will he explain on what grounds compensation was denied to the owner in a case where a postman was found in possession of the stolen postal order, and also where another postman was clearly in possession of the proceeds of a postal order; and (2) whether he gives compensation for the loss or damage of unregistered inland parcels; and, if so, why compensation is given in the one case and refused in the other?


In the absence of particulars by which the two cases referred to in the first part of the honourable Member's Question can be traced, I am unable to state the grounds on which compensation in these cases was refused. It is, however, the practice of the Department to pay compensation, as an act of grace, to the owners of postal orders proved to be stolen or lost in the post when the owners have followed the directions of the Department for securing the safe transmission though the post and have kept a record of the official number of the orders. As regards unregistered inland parcels, the Postmaster General expressly undertakes to pay compensation for loss or damage on certain prescribed conditions, while there is no similar undertaking in the case of unregistered letters, certain records which assist the elucidation of complaints being kept of such parcels which are not possible in the case of unregistered letters. Even in the case of parcels, however, postal orders enclosed therein are expressly excluded from the benefits of the undertaking, and, as regards any question of compensation, are on precisely the same footing as if they had been enclosed in unregistered letters.