HC Deb 28 March 1808 vol 10 cc1257-8
Mr. Parnell

made his motion on this subject. During the last four years above 25,000l had been paid by the Post Masters General of Great Britain, towards the establishment of Government Expresses from London to Dublin, without parliamentary authority. He wished to know, therefore, under what authority that sum had been paid. He wished also to obtain information respecting the steps intended to be taken for the improvement of the regular communication by mails and packets between London and Dublin. He repeated the statements which he made on a former night, respecting the exclusive communications which had been made by the Irish government to the editor of a Dublin newspaper, by which he was enabled to anticipate his contemporaries; and contended that such a practice must in evitably ruin the other Irish papers, and materially injure the liberty of the press. He trusted, therefore, to the candour and liberality of the hon. bart. that he would abandon this obnoxious practice. He moved, That there be laid before the house, a return, showing by what authority the Post-Master General of Great Britain had paid the sum of 25,097l for Government Expresses between London and Dublin, from the 1st of Jan. 1804, to the 1st of Jan. 1808.

Sir A. Wellesley

had no objection whatever to the motion. As to the communications which had been made by the Irish government to the editor of a Dublin newspaper, they had been made, because when an express did arrive, it was deemed expedient not to withhold from the Irish public the intelligence brought by it : they had been made to the editor of that paper, because it was the only daily evening paper published in Dublin; and they had been made to him alone, because it was not practicable to send one set of papers to more than one place. He repeated that the paper in question was by no means in the interest of government, but was totally unconnected with it. With regard to the information respecting the improvement of the ordinary intercourse between the two countries, the subject had engaged the serious .attention of Government, who had for some time been concerting measures with the Post-master General for the attainment of so desirable an object. He trusted therefore, that the hon. gent. would not press his mot on on that subject.

Mr. Parnell

acquiesced in the wish just expressed by the hon. bart. On the other part of the subject it appeared to him, that although one set of papers could only be sent to one place, it would be easy matter to let the different editors have access to them. He again insisted strongly on the injurious effects which the present system of partiality must necessarily produce, both on the individuals immediately affected, and on the Irish public at large.—The motion was then agreed to, as were also two subsequent motions by the same hon. gent. for an Account of any sums which had been repaid to the Post Master General, and by what authority; and for an Account of the Expence of King's Messengers from 1801 to 1808.

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