HC Deb 17 February 1919 vol 112 cc607-8W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that a packet of etchings by Felicien Rops, consigned to a firm of picture dealers in London, was stopped in the post and des- troyed by Post Office officials on the ground that certain of the prints were of an obscene character; if so, whether he is aware of the position of Rops among modern etchers; and, in order to avoid possible loss to the nation and municipalities, whether he will communicate with the trustees of our national and municipal galleries and inform them of the risks attached to the transmission through the post of certain of the works of art in their respective galleries or reproductions thereof?


I find that a packet corresponding with the description given was received in the mails from Holland in June last. The responsible officers of my Department who examined it found that certain of the prints were of an obscene character and undoubtedly brought the packet within the category of packets the transmission of which by post is prohibited by Clause 63 of the Post Office Act, 1908. The packet was accordingly destroyed under the Statutory powers conferred by Section 6 of the Foreign and Colonial Post Warrant, 1907. The regulations prohibiting the transmission of certain articles by post are published in the Post Office Guide; and I do not propose to take any special steps to bring these regulations under the notice of particular persons.