§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that British postal orders are only obtainable at the British post office; at Constantinople, and are neither issued nor payable at the British post offices at 285 Salonica, Smyrna, or Damascus, and can he say what is the cause of the delay in carrying out the reform.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
At present the British post office at Constantinople is the only British post office in the Levant at which postal orders are obtainable. As the hon. Member has already been informed in this House, the question of extending the postal-order system to the British post office at Salonica, has been under consideration; and the Postmaster General hopes shortly to give postal-order facilities not only to Salonica but to Smyrna. There is no British post office at Damascus, but there is one at Beyrout, and when there is any sign of a demand for postal orders at Beyrout—which at present there is not—the question of supplying them to that office also shall be considered.
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that the French post offices in Turkey issue money orders and bons de paste or postal orders payable at any post office in Prance at the same rate as in France, and seeing that, at the British post offices at Constantinople, Salonica, and Smyrna, 6d. commission is charged on a £1 money order to the United Kingdom, whilst the French post offices at Constantinople, Salonica, and Smyrna charge only twenty-five centimes or 2½d. on a £1 money order to the United Kingdom, will he take into consideration the reduction of the charges at these British post offices.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
It is the fact that the French post office charges its inland rates of commission on money orders and bons de poste issued at its post offices in the Levant, and the commission on a French money order for 25 francs is 25 centimes. The commission on a £1 money order at British post offices in the Levant is 6d.; but £1 can be remitted from the British post office at Constantinople by postal order for a commission of 2d., and the same facilities will exist at Salonica and Smyrna so soon as the extension referred to in my answer to the last question is carried out. In these circum- 286 stances it is not proposed to interfere with the present money-order rates.