HL Deb 30 May 1892 vol 5 cc176-7



My Lords, I beg to ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Postmaster General could see his way to provide postal facilities in the country districts, such as now exist in large towns, for the despatch of large numbers of circulars through the post where the postmaster has a special stamp, so as to avoid the purchase of large quantities of stamps and the labour of affixing them?


My Lords, I have been asked by the Postmaster General to reply to this question. The matter is not quite so simple as it would seem from the form in which the question of the noble Lord is put. As a matter of fact, the practice of accepting postage in money at the present time is confined to the Metropolis, and to a very few populous provincial towns. These places are only twenty-two in number, and they are places where large quantities of circulars are brought to be posted. My Lords, the matter would not be concluded by the simple supply of what is known as a paid stamp to the postmaster. The system requires a very laborious and intricate system of checking to avoid fraud, and it really is a system that can only be safely carried into effect at places where a considerable staff of trustworthy officers have to be engaged in carrying out the necessary precautions. The Postmaster General is confident that if it were extended generally there would be a very serious and very appreciable risk of fraud. And, although he is willing to do whatever is reasonable and right to give such facilities as may be possible, he cannot hold out any hope of any very extensive change in this matter.