§ *SIR J. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been directed to the grave charges brought by Mr. H. C. Burdett against certain officers of the Post Office in connection with contracts for parcel baskets; and, whether he has taken any steps to ascertain the circumstances in which these charges were brought?
§ MR. A. MORLEY
The charges brought by Mr. Burdett were practically two. Firstly, that some of the Blind Schools could not deal with my Department because of a system there which permitted a certain amount of blackmailing on the part of certain of its officers; secondly, that I myself, or at any rate the Post Office, knew something of the matter because a case had been brought directly under notice of the Post Office Authorities. The first charge was based upon hearsay, which was found by Mr. Burdett himself—as soon as he made inquiry—to be wholly untrue; the second charge, so far as I have been able to ascertain, was not even based upon hearsay, but had no foundation whatever. I cannot refrain from expressing my surprise that a gentleman in Mr. Burdett's position should bring charges affecting the honour of the officers of a public Department upon no better authority than hearsay in one instance, and upon no discoverable ground whatever in the other.