HC Deb 17 February 1881 vol 258 c1089

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If the Government have the power to detain letters as well as to open them; and if, when letters are opened, he will affix a stamp on the outside stating that they have been "opened by authority," as was done by the Governments of Mr. Pitt and Lord Liverpool, and promised to be done by the Government of Sir Robert Peel?


Sir, the Act 1 Vict. c. 56, which gives power to open letters, also gives power to detain them. I do not think it would be wise to limit that power in a manner which Parliament has not thought fit to prescribe in the Act.