HL Deb 14 August 1850 vol 113 cc1068-9

referred to the report of the Commission appointed to inquire into the operation of the regulations lately adopted for putting a stop to Sunday labour in the Post Office, which had just been laid on their Lordships' table. This report, he believed, would go a considerable way to remove the evils which had been sensibly felt for some weeks past, in the interruption of the correspondence of the country. He would not dwell on the social evils which had been experienced; but he must beg leave, as one of the Judges of the land, to state his conviction that the late regulation had a tendency, with respect to the administration of criminal justice, to obstruct works of necessity and mercy. Whilst the assizes were going forward, it was often of the greatest importance that communications should be made to the Judges with respect to cases that were coming on for trial, and with respect to cases which had been tried. Under the system lately established, all communications of that sort were for four-and-twenty hours completely cut off. He would only add, that on one occasion he himself, and his learned brother, Mr. Justice Williams, thinking that the postmaster might be authorised to make a dispensation from the strictness of the new regulations in favour of Her Majesty's Judges, applied for their letters at the post-office; but the postmaster refused to make any exception, stating that he had positive orders to deliver none whatever. He (Lord Campbell) honoured that functionary for his strict obedience to the commands he had received; but a danger arose in consequence, that prisoners coming on for trial might have been deprived of evidence that might have been material for them, and prisoners who had been condemned might have been cut off from receiving the mercy to which their cases entitled them. He rejoiced exceedingly that the late regulations, which he did not hesitate to express his belief had a direct tendency to load to the desecration of the Sabbath, would now be at an end. There was no one who was more in favour of a strict religious observance of Sunday than himself; but this would be much more effectually promoted by the new regulations which ho understood the Government was about to make.


expressed his entire concurrence in the opinion of his noble and learned Friend, as to the hardship produced by the lately framed regulations, especially to the poorer classes.

House adjourned till To-morrow.

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