§ MR. POWELL WILLIAMS (Birmingham, S.)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General under what circumstances the girl Palfrey, recently convicted at the Birmingham Quarter Sessions of conspiracy, and fined £10, was not proceeded against for the offence of divulging the contents of a telegram, of which she was admittedly also guilty; and what is the penalty attaching to that offence?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
Among the charges on which the girl Palfrey was indicted was one of divulging the contents of a telegram, but the essence of all the charges was that of conspiracy to defraud, and to this she pleaded guilty. After such plea, I am informed that it would have been an unusual course to proceed with other counts of the indictment based on precisely the same facts. All of these facts were fully disclosed to the Court. Moreover, the Judge himself suggested that it would be unnecessary to press the other counts. The divulging of the contents of a telegram, like conspiracy to defraud, is a misdemeanour, and the maximum penalty prescribed for it by Statute is twelve months' imprisonment with or without hard labour.