HC Deb 29 April 1898 vol 56 cc1520-1

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that a certain Augustus Klein, of Hamburg, is distributing in this country large numbers of printed circulars inciting British subjects to participate in German money lotteries, and that subscribers are directed to forward subscriptions for lottery tickets by means of money orders, postal orders, and postage stamps in envelopes printed with Herr Klein's name and address, and enclosed with the circulars referred to; whether he will direct that, with a view to prevent Herr Klein from utilising the British Post Office for the sale of lottery tickets, no money orders payable to Herr Klein shall be issued; and whether, having regard to his refusal to exchange postal orders with the Australian Colonies, and to provide foreign and Colonial stamps for making small remittances, he will concert with the German postal authorities some method of preventing the irregular employment of British postal orders and stamps for the furtherance of Herr Klein's lottery schemes?


The lottery circulars issued by Augustus Klein to persons in this country have not come under the notice of the officers of the Post Office. They are, no doubt, sent in closed envelopes prepaid at the letter rate. The Postmaster General would not be legally justified in giving instructions that no money orders payable to Herr Klein should be issued from this country; nor would he be justified in attempting to concert with the German postal authorities any method of preventing Herr Klein from receiving remittances by means of British postal orders and British postage stamps. I doubt whether the honourable Member could himself devise any such method except by stopping all letters or opening all letters addressed to him. I may remind the honourable Member that postal orders are sold in this country to any person who desires to purchase them, and are similarly paid to any person who tenders them for payment in this country. The proposal of the honourable Member for making British postal orders payable in foreign countries, or selling foreign stamps in this country, would facilitate and not impede the operations against which his Question is directed.