§ MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether there is any statute or regulation debarring Post Office servants, who are also officers of their trade unions, from exercising the right of approach to candidates for Parliament possessed by ordinary citizens and officials of other organisations.
§ Mr. HANBURY
No distinction, of course, is drawn in this respect between a Post Office servant who is an officer of a trade union and one who is not. All Post Office servants, like all other members of the Civil Service of the Crown, are necessarily required to serve with equal fidelity under whatever political party may for the time be in power, and are therefore expected not to take any public part in supporting or opposing any particular candidate or party. This is specially necessary in the case of those who are brought into daily contact, in the discharge of their official duties, with all sections of the public, as most of the Post Office servants are. No statute and no regulation exists debarring any Post Office servant from approaching candidates for Parliament; but it is, of course, within the discretion of the Postmaster General, as it would be in the discretion of the head of any other Department of the State, to frame such a regulation if he considers it necessary in the public interest.
§ MR. STEADMAN
Does the right Hon. Gentleman's answer refer to officials as well as members of trades unions?