HL Deb 16 March 2000 vol 610 cc220-1WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What considerations are taken into account by the Royal Mail in the selection of an important event as a theme suitable for celebration on postage stamps. [HL1411]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The Royal Mail selects events and themes for celebration on postage stamps which:

  • commemorate important anniversaries;
  • celebrate events of national and international importance;
  • reflect the British contribution to world affairs, in particular to the Commonwealth and Europe, in a variety of fields of activity including the arts and sciences;
  • reflect the many varied aspects of Britain and the British way of life;
  • extend public patronage to the arts by encouraging the development of minuscule art;
  • fit in with the Post Office's commercial target for philately.

In addition the following conventions apply:

  • Any topic which may be considered controversial or cause offence nationally is avoided.
  • No identifiable living person, other than Royalty, is depicted.
  • Anniversaries are restricted generally to 50 year multiples.
  • WA 221
  • Past and future years are considered to ensure a balance and variety of subjects taking one year with another.
  • Within a year's programme, the aim is to provide a variety of categories of subjects.