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Counter Losses

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the case of a counter clerk and telegraphist at Gracechurch Street branch office, who was called upon to make good the loss of £8 through paying out a stolen money order; and whether he will inquire further into the subject on the grounds that risk allowance is intended to cover only ordinary mistakes and not cases of fraud?

I am acquainted with the case to which the hon. Member refers. The officer in question, who holds a risk allowance, was called upon to make good the loss because he failed to observe the rules relating to the payment of money orders. This is the normal practice in the case of holders of risk allowances.

The question as to whether the risk allowance is intended to cover cases of fraud has not been answered. The Regulation specifically refers to the particular duties of the officer.

There is no question of fraud in this case. The officer concerned accepted an irregular signature. He has the risk allowance, and although I sympathise with him, I do not see it was possible for the Department to have done anything else.