HC Deb 13 March 1906 vol 153 cc1101-2
MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down S.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the case of a bankrupt postmaster named Braham, who was in the habit of perforating stamps for various large city firms, and who on his bankruptcy owed some £4,000 for stamps so received and not returned; whether he will consider the question of compensation to the firms so defrauded; whether it is his practice to secure a deposit or other security for the honesty of such postmasters; and whether it is his intention to prosecute in this case.


I am aware of the bankruptcy in question. Mr. Braham was a sub-postmaster in Tabernacle Street, E.C., who in addition to the business conducted for the Post Office, carried on a private business as a perforating press maker and perforator of postage stamps. The Post Office does not supply the public with perforated stamps, or sell stamps at other prices than those indicated by their face value or on other than cash terms. Mr. Braham's transactions in relation to the perforation of stamps being thus of a purely private character, there is no ground for compensating Mr. Braham's creditors at the expense of the taxpayer. A sub-postmaster is required to find security for his fidelity in that capacity, but not for debts incurred in his private business. So far as the Post Office is concerned no question of prosecution arises.


Cannot the perforating be done at Somerset House?

MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)

I should like to press the Question. I remember that while I was Postmaster-General considerable difficulty arose in regard to similar oases. I think the point is worth considering.


Yes, I will consider it. No doubt people who have bought stamps for perforating have lost money under these cases.