HC Deb 07 August 1896 vol 44 cc108-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, can he explain upon what principle the Postmaster General is considering the propriety of giving gratuities to certain persons who assisted in extinguishing the recent fire in a mail van on the Great Northern Counties Railway, Ireland, seeing that the Post Office is in no way responsible for the fire by which the mail van was consumed; how many claims have been lodged with the Company or the Post Office, or both, for compensation in this case, and what is the aggregate sum claimed up to the present time; and, has the Post Office, and not the railway company, paid all or any of those claims; and, if so, will he explain on what grounds?


Should the Postmaster General decide to give some gratuity to the persons who assisted in extinguishing the fire in the mail van on the occasion referred to by the hon. Member, he will do so on the principle that it is desirable to encourage, efforts to save the mails I when in danger or to recover them if lost. About 50 claims have been lodged with the Postmaster General, and the aggregate amount may be roughly estimated at about £30. My right hon. Friend is not aware whether any separate demands for compensation have been made upon the railway company. The payments have been made by the Postmaster General in pursuance of the undertaking into which he has entered with the public to pay, as an act of grace, compensation for parcels and registered letters.