HC Deb 19 December 1928 vol 223 cc3010-1
57. Mr. HANNON

asked the Postmaster-General if any officials in the service of the Post Office are directly associated with the publication and circulation of the "Post," the organ of the Union of Post Office Workers; if his attention has been called to the diatribes against His Majesty's Government, and against individual Ministers which appear in successive issues of the "Post"; and if postal servants who may be employed in connection with this publication have been warned of the violation of the regulations of the Civil Service?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir William Mitchell-Thomson)

The editor of the paper in question is not in the Post Office service, but I understand the paper is controlled by a committee of the Union. I have seen some of the articles to which my hon. Friend refers. Whilst there is, so far as I am aware, no formal regulation on the subject, it is an implied condition of State service that servants of the Crown should not indulge in public criticism of Government policy, and it is inconsistent with this condition that civil servants should be associated with publications of a definitely political character. I have not, so far, thought it necessary to intervene in the case referred to.


Is there any means whatever of preventing—no matter what Government is in power—an organ professedly representing a branch of the Civil Service from making violent attacks from week to week on Ministers of the Crown?


Is there anything to prevent criticism by any body of people who are running a private journal among themselves?


The reply which I gave was couched designedly in measured terms, and was intended to be taken, and I hope will be taken, in the nature of a warning. I am prepared to add nothing to it.


Would it not be advisable to make all workmen Crown employés, and then we could be shut up altogether?