HC Deb 01 April 1892 vol 3 cc467-8
MR. S. T. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether sub-postmasters who are not occupied solely with Post Office duties are eligible as candidates for the position of guardians, overseers, and members of Local Boards, while they are ineligible as candidates for County Councils; if so, what is the reason for the distinction made in the case of County Councils; and whether the Department can see its way clear to abolish the distinction and the restriction upon such sub-postmasters?


The case is as stated in the question. Until December, 1888, there was no rule prohibiting Post Office servants from taking part in parochial or municipal matters. In December, 1888, when County Councils were first established, the late Postmaster General made these an exception to the general rule. Postmasters (including sub-postmasters and letter receivers) were prohibited from mixing themselves up in matters connected with County Councils. Later on the Treasury issued a Minute prohibiting all Civil servants from being candidates for County Councils. As to the abolition of the restriction, this is obviously a matter now not for the Post Office alone, but for the Government.


May I ask what raises the distinction between County Councils and other Local Boards?


Well, political matters are sometimes mixed up with the proceedings of County Council elections, and it is undesirable that persons in the position of postmasters should take a prominent part in such matters.