§ Mr. BENNETT-GOLDNEY
asked the Postmaster-General what is the approximate value in English money of the German machinery already imported, and to be imported, into this country for the manufacture of the present postage stamps under the new arrangements made by the Government for their supply; whether the poor adhesive qualities of the new stamps is due to the inferiority of the substance used or to the fact that the German-made machines are inferior to English and American inventions; whether the German machines are constructed so as to distribute an even coating of vegetable mucilage with the same precision as a glaze of animal size prepared from hooves of horses or hide scrapings; and whether, in view of the prevalence of the habit of stamp-licking, he will not only give orders to have 564 the substance analysed from time to time, but will insist upon the quantity used on the backs of the stamps being sufficient?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
I have no information as to the value of any German machinery imported or to be imported by the contractors under their own. private arrangements. As I pointed out the other day the contractors attempted, but were unable to obtain, British machinery. The analysis to which the stamps are from time to time submitted proves the adhesive substance used to be gum-arabic, as required by the contract, and the quantity present to be not less than the proportion which formerly obtained. The machines at present in use are not, so far as I am aware, inferior to any others obtainable. Enquiries are being made with a view to improving the adhesive properties of the stamps.