HC Deb 06 November 1911 vol 30 cc1282-3

I think I have your leave, Sir, to mention a matter in connection with a question which I asked the Postmaster-General on Monday, 30th October. The question related to the use of the letters "H.M.S." in telegrams. The answer of the right hon. Gentleman being so unsatisfactory, I was obliged to put some supplementary questions. You, Sir, in the exercise of your prerogative, thought I had asked sufficient, and said that I had had a very full answer. Since then I have received from the Postmaster-General a very courteous letter stating that what he then said was said under a misapprehension. I would like you to give the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity to correct his mistake across the floor of the House.


I shall be very glad to respond to the hon. Gentleman's invitation. The facts are that in the course of a prolonged cross-examination the other day the hon. Member asked me whether if the letters "H.M.S." were used in a telegraph form in capitals they would be counted as one word. I told him that I thought that was so. It appears that by the Post Office regulations only letters written in small type may be counted as one word. I discovered my error and at once communicated with the hon. Member, asking his permission to correct the report in the official record of the proceedings of the House.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in my question I corrected the mistake into which he had fallen, and that his answer made no reference to the particular point to which I referred, but dealt with something in regard to the text of a telegram? What I asked then and what I ask now is whether, when the letters "H.M.S." are put in an address in a telegram they are counted as one word, but that when put in capitals in the address above the text of a telegram they are counted as three words; and whether, in view of—


I think the hon. Member had better put his question on the Paper.