HC Deb 26 February 1964 vol 690 cc416-7
16. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General why St. Andrew's Cross is excluded from 3d. stamps sold in book form, while 3d. stamps sold other than in book form have St. Andrew's Cross on them; and if he will arrange for this to be rectified.

Mr. Mawby

Because of the cost of producing and stocking the additional varieties of stamp books which would be required and for which there has so far been very little demand, we have not hitherto included in stamp books any of the 3d. stamps such as the one to which the hon. and learned Member refers, which were designed for sale in certain places only within the British Islands. We are however currently reviewing the whole range of books which we sell and my right hon. Friend will bear in mind the hon and learned Member's suggestion.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Assistant Postmaster-General realise that he is putting the public to a great deal of quite unnecessary expense by this ridiculous discrimination. Will he resort to more businesslike methods with a view to saving money for the Exchequer?

Mr. Mawby

The hon. and learned Gentleman talks about discrimination. He is following exactly the opposite line to that which one of my hon. Friends followed earlier. There is no discrimination. I point out that regional designs of 3d. stamps are on sale not only in Scotland but in Northern Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. If in fact one produced books of the standard 3d. stamp with the different regional designs on, this would mean a greater amount of printing costs. It would also mean larger stocks to be carried by every sub-postmaster throughout the country. As I said before, we are seriously considering this, and, if we feel that there is sufficient demand in Scotland for this type of book, we will do it.