HC Deb 30 September 1915 vol 74 c1035

On a point of Order. I should like to ask you, Sir—and I think it will be convenient to many Members of this House who are interested, as I am, in this question of postal charges—whether it is either necessary or the practice for changes in postal rates to be introduced in a Resolution of this House?


Perhaps it is a little irregular to deal with the Thirty-first Resolution before we proceed with the Seventeenth. Still, I understand that it is for the general convenience of the House, and, therefore, I am glad to be able to give my decision upon the point at this moment. In my opinion there is no necessity for this Resolution at all. As to the Thirty-first Resolution, so far as the recent precedents go, no Postal Bill or Telegraph Bill has been of late years introduced on Resolution. The Bills can be introduced without Resolution, for the simple reason that postal charges are not a tax—they are a payment for services rendered; and I would go further and say that, since the Parliament Act was passed I think that probably the insertion of any Clause dealing with postal packets and telegrams might vitiate the position of a Finance Bill, as a "Money Bill," within the meaning of the Parliament Act. Of course, it is a matter for the Government in these cases to decide; but I think it only fair to say that, in my judgment, so far as I have seen the proposals contained in the Resolutions, the insertion of them in it might probably imperil the position of the Finance Bill as a Money Bill. Therefore, primâ facie, it would be undesirable to introduce them. But I am quite clear also that the Resolution is not required, as it does not impose a charge.

Order read for further consideration of Seventeenth and subsequent Resolutions.