HC Deb 04 January 1894 vol 20 c811

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware that the American Post Office Department at Washington has recently ruled that the writer has the right to regain possession of a letter, provided he can prove to the satisfaction of the Postal Authorities that he was the writer of it, and that he may recall it by telegram, even if it has reached its place of destination, and is on the point of delivery, on the ground that the Postmaster General is only the agent of the writer while the letter is in transit; whether a similar Rule can be established by the British Post Office; and, if not, upon what grounds of law or fact it is excluded; and whether he is aware that cases frequently occur in which the delivery of a letter against the expressed will of the sender may cause wrong or hardship?


I am advised that the practice of the United States Post Office referred to by the hon. Member could not be followed in this country without legislation. According to the law in this country, the first duty of the Post Office is to deliver the letter as addressed, the sender having no right to recover it unless such delivery should prove impossible. There seems to me to be no sufficient reason why the law should be altered.