§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether the will state specifically the reasons for the summary dismissal of Mr. John Meux from the postmastership of Hayward's Heath, which he had held for 19 years; whether Mr. Meux was found guilty of any, and what, irregularity in the performance of his duties between the 21st December, 1886, and the 13th February, 1887; if so, upon what evidence; whether it is the fact that Mr. Meux has emphatically denied the truth of allegations made against him of carelessness and irregularities, and asked to have an opportunity of explaining his conduct personally to the Secretary; why such request was refused; what are the sums expended by Mr. Meux on his office for the purpose of meeting the requirements of the surveyor as to accommodation; and, whether such outlay does not entitle him to some compensation?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
In reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that prior to December, 1886, Mr. Meux had been repeatedly cautioned as to the manner in which he performed his duties as Postmaster; and that in the course of an official investigation about the time mentioned it transpired that he had deliberately disregarded the Rules which provide security for registered letters. It was, nevertheless, decided, on the 21st December, to allow him one more chance; but shortly afterwards serious irregularities came to light, and while it is true they had actually occurred before the 21st of December, they showed so clearly that he was unfit for his post that felt bound, in the public interest, to take the office 1372 out of his hands. Mr. Meux's denial could not, of course, affect what are proved and actual facts. He has, moreover, made statements, both verbally and in writing, which are tantamount to a full admission of the charges against him; and I, therefore, considered it desirable to refuse his request for a personal interview, which could not possibly alter the facts on which my decision was based. Mr. Meux did expend certain sums in providing office accommodation for his duties; but he was well aware of the terms on which he held his appointment, and that he was in no respect entitled to compensation for such outlay in the event of his dismissal for misconduct.