§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Fawcett.)
§ MR. WARTON
considered this Bill thoroughly objectionable in principle. It seemed to him that all the crimes included in this Bill were met by the ordinary law; and it was objectionable to have this special set of offences, as if there was something sacred about the Post Office. All these provisions were grotesquely absurd, and all the offences were amply met by the ordinary Police Acts. It was very wrong to make a distinction between the Post Office and any other Department; and he hoped the Postmaster General would continue his useful reforms, and not seek to clothe his Office with mock dignity by having special Acts of Parliament.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, nothing was further from his intention than to seek to give a fictitious importance to the Post Office; but it had been found that there were a number of offences which, though apparently trivial, were of a serious nature, and there was either no legal provision at all, or no adequate provision, for preventing them. For instance, throwing a lighted match into a pillar bex might cause irretrievable consequences. There was a case of this sort not long ago, and it was extremely doubtful whether it could be punished at all. Another source of annoyance was the sending of fictitious telegrams, and there were no means of preventing that; but this Bill would meet such cases, and he could assure the House that it was introduced in the interest of the public.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.