HC Deb 21 April 1898 vol 56 cc628-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that a post office order obtainable in Paris, but payable in London, for 5s., costs less than 1d., that is 10 centimes for commission, whereas a post office order from London to Paris for the same amount costs 6d. commission; whether he will explain how it is that the French Government assert that they work these transactions at a profit, and yet the English Government charge 600 per cent. more than the French Government; and whether he will reduce the charge for commission on 5s. money orders to 1d. for each?


It is the fact that a money order for 5s. obtained in Paris and payable in London costs 10 centimes, while a money order from London to Paris for the same amount, costs 6d. The hon. Member has taken for the purpose of comparison one country, and one particular point in the scale. Our charges are the same for all countries abroad, and while for small amounts the French charge is the lower, for larger amounts the British charge is the lower. Thus a money order on Paris for £10 can be procured in London for 1s. 6d., while the same order purchased in Paris for London would cost 2s. 1d. The information in the possession of the Postmaster General is that the French Government does not gain but loses by the low rate charged for money orders of small amount, and he is not prepared to incur the loss which would follow the introduction of a charge of 1d. on money orders for 5s. obtained in this country.