HC Deb 22 July 1953 vol 518 cc371-2
38. Mr. Healy

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the total number of letters and parcels passed over to the Northern Ireland Government censors in the Belfast Post Office for the half year ending June last; and how far his officials are present at the opening and closing of the letters in order to check the enclosures.

Mr. Gammans

I would refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to his Questions on 27th February and 2nd April, 1952, and 15th July, 1953, to which I have nothing to add.

Mr. Healy

Does the hon. Gentleman not realise that there is great public anxiety at the way he has been abrogating his functions to an unnamed individual in the Belfast Post Office, that money enclosures have been extracted from some of these letters, and that the Post Office officials have been prosecuted in the courts? Is the hon. Gentleman not prepared to ask the Northern Ireland Government to bring these iron curtain methods to an end now?

Mr. Gammans

The hon. Member should read again the answers I have given him to these Questions, and I trust that they will give him satisfaction.

Mr. Beattie

Are the four temporary officers on the payroll of the hon. Gentleman's Department? Is it the fact that these four temporary officers made no declaration of secrecy, and is the hon. Gentleman aware that information which has passed through the censorship of the four individuals concerned has obtained publicity in certain quarters?

Mr. Gammans

The hon. Gentleman is now asking me something which has nothing whatever to do with the Question on the Order Paper.