HC Deb 30 June 1965 vol 715 cc615-6
32. Mr. Boston

asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a special stamp issue to commemorate the 40th anniversary next year of the General Strike.

Mr. Joseph Slater

No, Sir. As a participant in the General Strike I can well appreciate the significance of this historical event. It is something I shall never forget. However, it is not the intention of my right hon. Friend to issue a special commemorative stamp on this occasion.

Mr. Boston

Does not my hon. Friend feel that the commemoration of an event of this kind could make a very valuable contribution both to revenue and productivity? Will he have another look at this matter, and, in deciding whether political events can be commemorated, does not he feel that the commemoration of Parliament itself might have been a political event?

Mr. Slater

I assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend has every sympathy with the object of the Question and the reason for this commemoration. But it is a moot point whether the 40th anniversary of the General Strike comes within the scope of the policy announced on 15th December last.

Sir P. Agnew

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that special issues of stamps are best and most appropriately confined to those occasions on which the nation was in unity and not deeply divided?

Mr. Slater

I do not think that it was united on Magna Carta. I think that all my hon. Friends would give added support to the sentiments expressed in the Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Boston).

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I sympathise with the hon. Gentleman over the fact that his hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Boston) has brought up this very touchy question of special stamps, but would he admit that a commemorative stamp for the 700th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort Parliament and for the death of Sir Winston Churchill are long overdue? Is he aware that, although a Sir Winston Churchill stamp has not yet been produced in this country, one has already been produced in the United States? And is he not ashamed—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Difficult though it may be, we must confine this commemoration to the General Strike.

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