HC Deb 25 June 1953 vol 516 cc2087-8
29. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary to the Treasury when buff official-paid envelopes were last used by Members of Parliament for all constituency correspondence; and what was the cost during the last year that Members exercised this privilege.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In 1839. There is no record of the cost.

Mr. Gower

Can the Financial Secretary say why this practice was discontinued?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It was discontinued because a Select Committee of this House reported that the concession was abused in numerous cases where no public business was concerned.

Mr. Lewis

Can the Minister say what other section of Government public servants have to pay for State correspondence out of meagre salaries that have not been altered for over seven years?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That raises fascinating issues, but I would suggest that they are not issues raised by this Question.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the abuses to which he has referred occurred at a time when there were no Labour Members of Parliament?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That seems to make them all the more remarkable.

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