HC Deb 17 March 1884 vol 286 cc145-6

Resolutions [March 14] reported.

Resolution 1 agreed, to.

Resolution 2.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £102.000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1884 for the Expenses of the Post Office Service.


said, he saw the Secretary to the Treasury in his place, and he would therefore address a question to him which if the Postmaster General had been present he should have put to that official. The Postmaster General had promised to make a statement with regard to a certain Postmaster named Walsh; and he should like to know whether the Government were able to say how it was that this official, who had been convicted by two magistrates under the Prevention of Crime Act, had been released by the Lord Justices on the motion of the Lord Lieutenant? The Postmaster General had given out that Mr. Walsh was innocent, and therefore he had been retained at his post; but it was a singular thing that other people, through the mere fact of being suspected, had been instantly dismissed. It was remarkable that Walsh, who was an Orangeman, had been retained, notwithstanding the action taken against him by magistrates under the Prevention of Crime Act; whereas a Postmaster named Barrett had been dismissed. Why had not Mr. Barrett been re-instated in a similar manner?


said, he was Sorry that he happened to be absent when the hon. Member commenced his observations. As to the matter referred to, he had obtained some information; and ha had found that Mr. Walsh, who had been arrested under the Coercion Act, charged with having sent a threatening letter, had been re-instated by the Lords Justices because they found. after reviewing the evidence, that it was by no means clear that he had committed the offence charged against him. As to the other cases, he had been asked the other night as to whether anyone who had been arrested under the Coercion Act had been restored to duty? He had made inquiries, and found that only four people in any way connected with the Post Office had been arrested under the Coercion Act. One of those would have been dismissed from the Service for some irregularity, whether arrested under the Coercion Act or not; in fact, it had been recommended that he should be prosecuted, although a milder course had been adopted in his case. In another case, a Mr. Murphy, who had been arrested, had endeavoured to appoint his sister as a substitute, but had not been able to do so; but as he had discharged his work in connection with the Post Office satisfactorily, he had been allowed to retain his position of Postmaster at Milford, and was still occupying it. As to the two Barretts, who wore arrested under the Coercion Act, no application for re-instatement was received from Nicholas Barrett on his release. The other, Edward Barrett, was not an established officer of the Post Office, but had been merely employed under a private arrangement with the Postmaster of Craughwell, and no application for reinstatement had been received from him.

Resolution agreed to.

Remaining Resolution agreed to.