§ MR. STEADMAN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether C. J. Osgodby, an auxiliary postman in the service of the General Post Office, after being tried on 20th November, 1899, at the Central Criminal Court on a charge of stealing postal orders and acquitted, was dismissed from his position as auxiliary postman two weeks subsequently after a 764 service of nine years; whether the said C. J. Osgodby applied on 12th March, 1900, to the Postmaster General for reinstatement or for a reference to enable him to obtain another situation; whether the Postmaster General on 15th March, 1900, replied that he could not be reinstated, and that in making any statement as to his character it would be impossible to exclude reference to the circumstances under which his employment in the Post Office terminated; and whether the Postmaster General, in view of the circumstances of the case and the fact that Osgodby has been for three years and still continues to be employed at evening work by the same employer, will reconsider his decision, with reference either to reinstatement or to the form of the reference to be given to the dismissed postman.
§ MR. HANBURY
The facts as stated in the first three paragraphs of the question are correct, except that besides the particular case upon which Osgodby was prosecuted there had been a large number of other cases of stolen letters, the facts of which were material to the question of Osgodby's fitness for employment in the Post Office. In the circumstances the Postmaster General would not be justified in reinstating Osgodby; nor could he, if referred to for Osgodby's character, withhold facts the suppression of which might seriously mislead any person who contemplated employing him.