§ LORD CHARLES BERESFORD (York)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, (1) why letters posted at Wady Halfa, fully prepaid in Egyptian stamps, have been charged double postage on delivery in London; (2) is he aware that the reason officially given in one case was that the Egyptian officials had not done their duty in defacing the stamps; and (3) whether he will endeavour to protect British recipients of letters from being punished for the delinquencies of foreign officials?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
It is not the practice of the British Post Office to charge letters from Wady Halfa fully prepaid in Egyptian stamps. The Postmaster General cannot learn that any such reason for a charge has been given as that named in the second paragraph. In the case which is believed to be referred to, the reply given was that the letter had been charged because the Egyptian Post Office had treated the stamps upon it as not available for the prepayment of the postage. The post-mark of the despatching office was illegible, and it was surmised that the letter came from the Soudan, where ordinary Egyptian stamps are not available for paying postage; but, on the applicant stating that the letter was from Wady Halfa, the cover was at once sent to the Egyptian Post Office for the purpose of obtaining an explanation. No answer has yet been received. An explanation shall be sent to the noble Lord so soon as the reply of the Egyptian Post Office is received.