HC Deb 10 October 1939 vol 352 c195W
Mr. Goldie

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that local postmasters are refusing to cash postal orders when presented for payment on the ground that as such postal orders constitute legal tender they can be utilised elsewhere for purchasing purposes; what statutory authority exists for such refusal and whether it extends to cases where a postal order is made payable by the sender at a particular office; and whether, in view of the inconvenience caused by such refusals, he will cause the normal procedure to be re-adopted?

Major Tryon

British postal orders of all values are now currency under the Currency Defence Act, 1939, except in the Channel Islands. As legal tender they may be used and must be accepted as instruments of payment in the same way as bank notes. The ordinary issue and payment of British postal orders, as such, has therefore ceased at all post offices. The fact that a postal order bears the name of a payee or that of an office of payment or that it is crossed does not affect its status as legal tender in any way. It is not clear how, in the circumstances, inconvenience can be caused by a refusal to exchange it for other kinds of legal tender, such as coin.