HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc441-2
30. Mr. Janner

asked the Postmaster-General if he will prohibit the use of officially-approved postal franking machines for printing advertisements encouraging drinking before driving an example of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Miss Mervyn Pike)

As my right hon. Friend informed the hon. Member the particular slogan to which he refers was intended to advertise a book. Unfortunately, it was clearly liable to misinterpretation, and as soon as it came to notice it was withdrawn under longstanding arrangements which are designed to preclude the sort of advertisement the hon. Member has in mind.

Mr. Janner

While expressing my gratitude to the hon. Lady for the expeditious way in which this was dealt with, in view of the fact that such a statement as Time Gentlemen, please! One For the Road. actually appeared on this franking, what kind of precautions does she intend to take to ensure that such a serious statement as that should not be contained in an allowed franking arrangement?

Miss Pike

This was a regrettable error. Steps have been taken to ensure that the rules are not infringed any more.

Mr. Mason

How closely does the hon. Lady watch these franking developments? This is not the first mistake in recent months. We had the shocking franking recognising refugee year when the open hand appeared against the Monarch's head. Is there not need for closer scrutiny by the Post Office?

Miss Pike

Regrettable errors have occurred, but to err is human, and we have been very unfortunate in these instances.