HC Deb 14 July 1887 vol 317 cc769-70
MR. P. M'DONALD (Sligo, N.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether his attention has been called to the following report, in The Evening Telegraph, of Dublin, of the 5th instant:— On Monday a little boy presented some new silver coins at the Post Office, College Green. The coins were kept by the postmaster, who gave it as his opinion that they were bad. The boy was then taken to an office at the end of the building, and, after undergoing a cross-examination and giving the name and address of his father, he was released. The boy's father arrived at the post office shortly after the occurrence took place; but the postmaster refused to hand over the coins, or to have them tested in his presence. He stated, however, that 'the incident would be reported to the Postmaster General, who would, no doubt, take steps in the matter.' In the meantime, the coins were submitted to a jeweller in the neigh-bourhood, who stated that they were pure silver. The postmaster waited on the father of the boy, at his place of business, and delivered up the money in a battered condition. It is the intention of the boy's father to take legal steps to test the conduct of the Post Office officials; whether the coins in question were some of the recently issued Jubilee coinage; and, whether steps will be taken to prevent innocent persons who may tender any of the new coinage from being subjected to such treatment in future?

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

, in reply, said, the coins in question were not those of recent issue, but two old threepenny bits. The boy who presented them was not detained longer than was necessary to inquire where he got them. Counterfeit coin has been frequently presented at the office at College Green; and the counterwomen who, if they accept it, suffer the loss, have been more than once taken in. The appearance of these threepenny bits seems to have fully justified the officer in testing their genuineness, and he seems to have acted in as quiet and inoffensive a manner as was possible.