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Private Mail (Opening And Detention)

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1952

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General under what regulations made by his Department is censorship of private mail conducted in the United Kingdom.

There is no censorship of private mail in the United Kingdom. The conditions under which a postal packet can be opened or detained by the Post Office are specified in Sections 17, 18 and 56 of the Post Office Act, 1908, and in the Foreign Parcels (Customs) Warrant, 1885, and in the Foreign Postal Packets (Customs) Warrant, 1948, of which I am sending the hon. Member copies.

How many postal packets have been detained for inspection in Scotland during the last six months? Can the hon. Gentleman give us the corresponding figures for England and Wales and also for Northern Ireland?

On a point of order. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that is a question which I could not get put down? Is he going to address himself—

Order. If the question was out of order when tendered at the Table, it is equally out of order as a supplementary question.

Further to that point of order. Is it, then, proper Ministerial practice for the hon. Gentleman to incite me to put down a Question that is out of order?