HC Deb 11 June 1953 vol 516 cc444-5
37. Mr. Wood

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether buff official-paid envelopes may be used for correspondence between Members of Parliament, nationalised industries and local authorities.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The statement made by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer on 6th November, 1945, related only to the use of these envelopes for letters sent by hon. Members to Government Departments. They have never been authorised for use for letters to local authorities. The present rule also excludes their use for letters to nationalised industries, but this aspect of the matter has been drawn to the attention of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries.

Mr. Wood

Will my hon. Friend say why letters are not allowed to be sent in those envelopes to nationalised industries and local authorities?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

So far as the nationalised industries are concerned, as I said in my main answer, the matter has been drawn to the attention of the Select Committee which is dealing with the relation of this House to those industries. The report so far received has not dealt with that matter. So far as local authorities are concerned, it has never been the practice so to authorise them. This is clearly a matter on which the Government would have to pay considerable attention to the views of the House. So far as I am aware, no very strong opinion has been expressed so far in respect of local authorities, nor do I think was it done when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton) made what is the present ruling statement in 1945. If, however, there is any body of opinion that desires to express a view, I am sure that my right hon. Friend will be glad to consider it.

Sir E. Keeling

Is my hon. Friend aware that his reply as regards nationalised industries is not in accordance with the practice, because nationalised industries receive and accept officially paid envelopes from hon. Members? Can he say whether they pay the postman 5d. on each, or whether they default?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That is a question which should be addressed to one of my right hon. Friends who is concerned with the specific nationalised industry.

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