HC Deb 16 June 1904 vol 136 cc275-6
MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the case of the postmaster of the sub-office of Lifton, in Devon, who has received notice that his place will be considered vacant if he again appears before the magistrate as a passive resister to the education rate; and, if so, will he state whether this has been done by his knowledge and instruction; and, if so, whether he will reconsider his instructions.

THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Lord STANLEY, Lancashire,) Westhoughton

Post Office servants who make default in payment of the education rate are treated in exactly the same way as those who have made default in the payment of other rates or taxes. Each case is decided on its merits; but evidently the Postmaster-General cannot allow the work of the Post Office to be interrupted, or the Department to be involved in trouble or scandal, by the failure of its servants to discharge their legal obligations either to the community or to other individuals. If, therefore, such failure on the part of a postmaster or sub-postmaster results in a seizure or distraint at a post office or sub-post office, the officer concerned will be liable to have his appointment declared vacant. A communication in this sense was made to the postmaster of Lifton, against whom a distress warrant has been it-sued. I see no reason to alter the practice in this matter; which was laid down by my predecessor, and in which I fully concur.


May I ask the noble Lord whether he is aware that the religious teaching in the school of this village is of such a character that the head gardener of the squire has had to leave the Church, and a good Churchman has lost his situation in consequence?


Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to make these personal reflections in the form of a Question.


I only thought it might be a justification of the action of the postmaster.