§ 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.
- 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.