HL Deb 25 April 1871 vol 205 cc1677-8

LORD KINNAIRD moved for Copies of the Reports laid before the Postmaster General on the state of the Post Office at Ipswich, with the Correspondence relating thereto. It was represented that the atmosphere of the building, owing to defect of ventilation, was so bad and fetid as to be injurious to the health of the clerks employed, who were frequently compelled to work for many hours continuously. The air of the Post Office had been analysed by competent chemists; and it was found to contain, on an average, 5,501 parts of carbonic acid gas in every 1,000 parts. In point of fact, that air contained more than five times as much carbonic acid gas as was contained in the atmosphere of a crowded theatre; and it was 150 per cent worse than the air found in some mines. The proportion of carbonic acid gas to be found in pure air was only 0.347. No time should be lost in remedying this state of things, which threatened to sacrifice the lives of the clerks employed in the Post Office; but the Post Office was powerless in the matter, inasmuch as the Post Office authorities had no power to make alterations, even by putting in a small ventilator. In the Post Office Bill which the Government were about to introduce, he hoped that power would be taken to enable post offices to effect such alterations, with the consent of the Treasury, without having to go to another Department about the matter. Moved, "That there be laid before this House the Reports laid before the Postmaster General on the state of the Post Office at Ipswich, with the Correspondence relating thereto."—(The Lord Kinnaird.)


said, the Motion was unnecessary, for the state of things which had been represented as so desperate had been already remedied. The production of the Papers, therefore, would serve no useful purpose.


said, that the only remedy that had been applied was the insertion of a ventilator, which, however, acted when there were certain currents in the room. Not a single thing had been done to improve the room where the unfortunate clerks were confined.


said, he could not see any objection to the production of the Returns.


pointed out the inconvenience of producing correspondence of such an unimportant character.


observed that he was reluctant to produce the Returns because the cause of complaint had been removed; but, if the noble Lord thought their production desirable, he would not offer any further objection.

Motion agreed to.