HC Deb 16 May 1898 vol 57 cc1360-1

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been called to the fact that the finance accounts show that the total income of the Post Office for the 1896–7 amounted to £13,390,203, and not £11,876,547, as represented in various other Returns; will he explain why the difference (the sum of £1,513,547) was paid out of the postal receipts by the postal officials, and no details given beyond the fact that it was for five objects; whether all these payments are made by the authority of Acts of Parliament, or, if not, under what authority; whether he will explain the services rendered by the Inland Revenue Department, which is credited with payment out of receipts of £535,320; and why is the House of Commons not allowed to vote the latter sum instead of its being taken out of the revenue receipts?


The Finance Accounts show that the total income of the Post Office for the year 1896–7 amounted to £13,390,203, and the net receipts to £11,876,656 (not £11,876,547). Of the five sums amounting to £1,513,547 the items for postage collected for the credit of Colonial Offices and of Foreign Offices are so dealt with under Treasury regulations; the item for payments to Railway Companies on account of Parcel Post is paid under 45 and 46 Vic, cap. 74, sec. 5 (1), and payment to the Inland Revenue Department is made under 44 and 46 Vic, cap. 72, sec. 13. The payment of £535,320 is made to the Inland Revenue on account of Postage Stamps used for Stamp Duties of an amount not exceeding 2s. 6d., and being Revenue, the House of Commons could not vote the amount.