HC Deb 18 May 1960 vol 623 cc1252-3
7. Mr. Lipton

asked the Postmaster-General how many prosecutions have been instituted during the past year under Section 66 (b) of the Post Office Act, 1953, which prohibits the sending of false telegrams for the purpose of causing annoyance.

Mr. Bevins

None, Sir.

Mr. Lipton

Does that Answer mean that the Postmaster-General has decided not to institute proceedings concerning the false telegram about which evidence was given by a G.P.O. investigator and others in the recent case of MacPherson v. the Duchess of Argyll? Is not he aware that this matter has been before the Post Office since 1957, when the complaint was originally made?

Mr. Bevins

I did not prosecute the sender of this telegram for two reasons. First, under the Act, a prosecution has to be launched within 12 months of the date of the offence, and I was not Postmaster-General in 1958. Secondly, even if I had been in my present office, I should not have known who to prosecute because the Post Office did not know who the sender of the telegram was.