§ 85. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Postmaster-General if his attention has been drawn to the case of the sub-postmaster of Great Tarpots, Essex, who was convicted of falsification of Post Office accounts after 12 previous convictions; what inquiry is made before appointing sub-postmasters; and on what principle they are appointed.
§ Mr. Wilfred Paling
Yes. The previous convictions occurred over 20 years ago, mostly overseas. They did not come to light when the sub-postmaster was appointed. Candidates for sub-postmaster-ships have to give two personal references and a third from a recent employer, if any. They are required to provide suitable premises and staff and are not bound to give personal service. Ex-service men are specially considered. When this man was appointed in 1938, his references were entirely satisfactory and he had been a sub-postmaster elsewhere for three years with a clear record. He served in the 1914–18 war.