§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON (York, W. R., Morley)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General whether the Postmaster-General is aware that a request has been made by the Ossett Town Council and the Ossett Chamber of Commerce for the re-establishment of a Sunday dispatch of letters from Ossett, and that, in reply to such request, a letter was written on the 25th October, 1898, signed "J. A. Marshall, for Secretary," in which it is stated, That the Postmaster-General is unable to give the matter favourable consideration, unless it be shown by means of a memorial that persons in receipt of not less than two-thirds of the correspondence for Ossett are in favour of the Sunday dispatch; whether this letter refers to paragraph 8 of the General Postal Regulations, published in the Post Office Guide (page 37); whether the Postmaster-General is aware that Ossett is not a rural district, but a municipal borough with a population of more than 12,000, and a separate commission of the peace; whether there is any precedent in such a case for requiring the requests of representative bodies to be supplemented by a memorial from the public; whether a memorial has since been received asking for the dispatch, and signed by upwards of 240 persons, representing the borough magistrates, Corporation, ministers of religion, legal and medical professions, and the leading residents and business firms in the borough; what means, if any, have been taken to inquire into the state- 1106 ment of the memorialists that they are the recipients of more than two-thirds of the correspondence in Ossett; and whether any regulation of the Department prevents the Postmaster-General giving effect to the strong wish of the memorialists that a Sunday dispatch should be made from one of the three town sub-offices in Ossett, and which office is situate within 300 yards of a railway station?
§ MR. HANBURY
The answer to the first five paragraphs is Yes. A counter-memorial has been received, showing a fairly equal division of opinion The memorialists referred to in the Question do not receive two-thirds or even one-third of the correspondence in Ossett, as proved by a count of the letters. The present regulations are based upon the recommendations of Lord Dalhousie's Committee, which followed upon a House of Commons Resolution of April 18th 1871, against extending Sunday labour in the Post Office. The Committee's Report was presented to Parliament in 1872.