HC Deb 18 August 1887 vol 319 cc923-4
MR. FENWICK(for Mr. W. ABRAHAMS) (Glamorgan, Rhondda)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether, during the recent election for the Northwich Division of Cheshire, an agent of Lord Henry Grosvenor employed a Post Office clerk a Runcorn to deliver circulars to the electors; if this clerk, in turn, employed other servants of the Post Office to deliver circulars, for which all were paid at the rate of one halfpenny each; if it is true that nearly 500 out of the 3,000 circulars, issued by the agent of the Liberal candidate, were returned unde- livered by the Post Office officials at Runcorn; if when these circulars were submitted to the overseer, did he pronounce most of the addresses to be correct; and, what action will he take with respect to the conduct of this official?

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

The only officers of the Post Office at Runcorn who appear to have been concerned in the delivery of circulars during the I recent election were five postmen, who were employed for the purpose by a printer in the town, and did the work when off duty, and without the knowledge of the postmaster. They state, in explanation, that they did not know they were doing wrong, being off duty; but I do not approve of the proceeding, and have cautioned the men. Three hundred and fifty-nine circulars issued by the Liberal agent and 248 issued by the Conservative agent were returned undelivered on account of insufficient or incorrect address. I am assured that every possible effort was made to deliver them, many being sent out two or three times. Members experienced in electioneering well know that this is of frequent occurrence at elections on account of removals.