§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, he wished to ask a question of the noble Lord the Postmaster General in reference to a subject of some importance. Several instances had lately occurred of domestic servants obtaining situations by means of forged characters, and he feared facilities to their doing so had been afforded by the carelessness of country postmasters. In a recent case a party applying for a situation produced a character signed by a Mr. Freeman, at Aylesford. The gentleman to whom this was shown wrote to the address given, and in return received a letter confirming every statement of the applicant. The character and letter afterwards proved to be forgeries, and the case was now under prosecution. When the postmaster at Aylesford was applied to on the subject, he said the letter addressed to Mr. Freeman had come to his hands, and he delivered it to a lad who asked for it, although he had never seen him before. It appeared the address was within the delivery of his office, and he ought to have sent out the letter in the ordinary way. He wished to know what were the instructions issued to country postmasters in reference to the delivery of letters within their division, and whether there would be any objection to lay these instructions on the table?
§ LORD COLCHESTER
stated, that in all cases where there was a delivery by letter-carriers the postmaster was not allowed to deliver any letters to persons applying at the office; but in the few districts where a delivery by letter-carriers had not yet been established, the postmaster was authorized to deliver letters from the window to the parties applying for them. The instructions on the subject were contained in the printed book of regulations.