§ MR. B. S. STRAUS (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether parcels containing samples of merchandise sent by parcel post to Servia in strict conformity with the regulations are being detained on the Austro-Hungarian frontier by the Austrian postal or customs' officers; if so, whether the latter have any power to open hampers or parcels sent from the London Post Office; whether this is contrary to the International Parcels Post Convention; and what steps do His, Majesty's Government propose to take to put an end to such interference with international trade.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) No information has reached me as to irregular treatment of articles sent by parcels post to Servia. Direct parcel mails for Servia are not despatched from this office, the parcels being sent in mails for Germany or Austria. The United Kingdom is not a party to the special convention of the Postal Union relating to the parcel post; but the Anglo-Austrian Parcel Post Agreement provides, in the same way as the international convention, that the internal legislation of each country is applicable generally to parcels sent through that country. Parcels for Servia sent from England are therefore liable in the Austrian service to the Austrian regulations.