HC Deb 18 March 1845 vol 78 cc1053-4
Mr. Ewart

wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the subject of the Post Office. It had been the custom, since facilities had been given by the penny postage, for London tradesmen to send down small parcels by post to their customers in the country, and it had become a constant and extensive practice. He had understood that, in consequence of an order which had been lately issued, various parcels of this description had been opened. He did not believe that it was the intention of the order to give any such authority to the Post Office officials. A case had occurred in Regent-street, which had come under his cognizance, in which a parcel had been opened. He, however, felt convinced that it was not the intention of the Government to sanction such a practice; and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give him an answer to that effect, so that it might be conveyed to the public. There was another question upon, the subject of the Post Office, which he wished to bring under the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman. If newspapers, sent from one party to another in London happened to have the names of the persons who sent them written on the outside, they were charged, instead of the usual sum of 1d., about 3s. 1d. This was not the case with papers sent into the country with a name written upon them, and he did not think it reasonable that an additional charge should be made in London.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was not aware of any such order having emanated from the Post Office Department as that alluded to. With respect to the other subject to which the hon. Member referred of packets sent by post being opened in the Post Office, he rather suspected that the hon. Gentleman had been led into error by the account which he had received. It was certainly true that in consequence of a pair of scissors, and also a part of a deceased body in preparation, having been forwarded through the Post Office, it became necessary to make an order that articles such as bottles, and flesh, and fish, by which other parcels going in the same bags might be injured, should not be allowed to pass through the Post Office. He had given a copy of that order to the hon. Gentleman, and it might happen that under it parcels, containing such articles as scissors, might, when necessary, be opened, but there had been no other order whatever authorising the opening of parcels issued from the Post Office. He had heard of but one complaint of any other description of parcels being opened, and that was under investigation.

Back to