HL Deb 12 March 1980 vol 406 cc1069-70

2.44 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering any schemes for preserving postage stamps on letters and parcels in view of the increased interest by stamp collectors in British postage stamps.


My Lords, this is an operational matter for the Post Office management.


My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for the downright concise reply. May I ask whether it is true that, although on days such as today, when there is a new issue, great care is shown in franking letters, there exists in the Post Office a device that is nicknamed among stamp collectors the "killer stamp "because it not only franks the stamps well but can absolutely obliterate the design, thus rendering them useless for a collector?


My Lords, I was not aware that among the technological inventions of the Post Office there was something of that name. I should inform my noble friend that the Post Office takes into account, and indeed appreciates, that collectors of stamps very much like to have postmarks which do not fully cover the stamp, and for this reason the Post Office makes a point of providing special hand stamping facilities at a number of offices especially for the use of philatelists. I understand that these facilities are currently being extended.

Baroness VICKERS

My Lords, I should like to support my noble friend's suggestion. For many years I have collected stamps of all kinds and have sold them for charities by the pound weight, and they have made a great deal of money. I should be grateful if those in this House might consider collecting just ordinary ones for England, and I would send them on to my charity.

Viscount ST. DAVIDS

My Lords, is not the noble Lord, as a firm monetarist, aware that the best way of destroying the value of these stamps is to preserve them?


My Lords, I shall inform my noble friend, who might fall under the title so aptly put by the noble Viscount. That is the best that I can do. As I said before, this is a matter for Post Office management and not for any other form of management.