HC Deb 07 June 1888 vol 326 cc1365-6
MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

asked the Postmaster General, If his attention has been called to a report in The Daily Chronicle of May 31 of a speech delivered by Sir Arthur Blackwood, a Post Office official, as follows:— He believed that our dangers were no less great and imminent in some senses than they were 200 years ago. They had still the same arch-enemy in the background, and underground, but now their dangers proceeded to a great extent from this fact—that blindly, by a false charity called toleration, the nation had yielded up its liberties, and allowed the rights and privileges conceded to Roman Catholics to be preverted into the right to legislate for the Protestant nation, and had allowed a Romish hierarchy to be established in our midst. Beyond that our chief danger laid from the existence in the largest section of the visible Church in this country of a traitorous clergy Ritualists, who were Romanists under another name, and were working insidiously, determinedly, and persistently to raise up the Romish standard, doctrine, and practice in our midst, and, alas! with too widespread and fatal success all over the land; whether other employés of the Department are free to address public meetings in an opposite sense, or generally may take part in platform work on public topics; and, is it the fact that the promotion of a great many Catholic and High Church postal servants depends on the favour of this gentleman?

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

My attention has not been called to the speech referred to otherwise than by the Question of the hon. and learned Member. Officers of the Post Office are at perfect liberty to take part in public meetings on any subject with the exception of those involving political partizanship; and the occasion on which the speech in question was delivered does not appear to me to fall within that category. The promotion of Post Office officials rests not with the Secretary of the Post Office, but with the Postmaster General, and no consideration of religious creed ever enters into such questions. I may, however, mention that Sir Arthur Blackwood has often recommended for promotion officers who, I happen to be aware, are Roman Catholics.


Do I understand that the permission granted to the Post Office officials is that they may not denounce other people's politics, but they may denounce other people's religion?

[No reply.]