§ Mr. RAWSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his 1322W attention has been called to the fact that upwards of 50 original deeds and other original documents have been stolen or lost during the past two years in the course of transit between Brighton and London for the purpose of stamping, some inside and others outside of post offices; whether he will, in view of the further loss reported at the end of May, reconsider the desirability of reopening the stamping office at Brighton; and whether he will further consider, in the interests of economy, housing the stamping office and the existing three offices of district inspectors of taxes in one building, particularly having regard to the fact that one of the latter is admittedly overcrowded and insanitary, and that alternative premises are now being sought for?
I am aware that documents of the nature referred to were included in the contents of mail bags stolen from the Post Office. With regard to the second part of the question, in Brighton, as in the majority of provincial towns, the volume of work in connection with the stamping of documents is not sufficient to justify the expenditure on office accommodation and staff which the setting up of a local stamp office would entail. I regret, therefore, that considerations of national economy preclude the provision of local stamping facilities. With regard to the office of the Inspector of Taxes, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on behalf of the First Commissioner of Works on the 18th June.