Page images
PDF
EPUB

has taken some pains to ascertain the working of the present system of non-delivery, with respect to the banking business of Norfolk, and is of opinion that the absence of the letters which were formerly received and opened on the Sunday is felt to be a great relief and saving of trouble to those who are engaged in the banking business, and that no practical inconvenience arises on the other hand from the non-delivery, or is likely to do so while the nondelivery is universal and complete.

The above observations are only offered with reference to the banking business of the county of Norfolk.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

110. Letter from the Rev. J. R. Stratten, vicar of Ewell, near Epsom, dated 8th August 1850, assuring the Committee of the satisfaction and pleasure with which the recent postal arrangements have been received, and of the strong desire for iheir continuance which prevails in the parish of Ewell. He is persuaded that while great and important benefits have been secured by those arrangements, very little comparative inconvenience has been experienced ; and persons possessed of considerable influence in the parish, who manifested some hesitation to support the arrangements previously to their completion, state that they have felt the cessation of the delivery of letters on Sunday to have proved, upon trial, extremely beneficial, and are now prepared decidedly to advocate the permanency of ihat cessation. Mr. Stratten begs leave respectfully to suggest, in his own name and in those of several of the influential parishioners of Ewell; that if a delivery of letters and newspapers were general on Saturday evening, leaving the metropolis at mid-day or later, no possible inconvenience could remain within 200 miles of London, and no further necessity for any Sunday delivery. He ventures to express his anxious hope, that with a view of securing this object, the machinery of the Post Office may be so altered as to be adapted to the recent regulations, and also that a sufficient time may be given to test this operation.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

111. Letter from Mr. W. Leeke, secretary of the Derbyshire Lord's-day Society, dated Holbrook, near Derby, 8th August 1850, forwarding the copy of a letter addressed to Lord John Russell on the 22nd of July, and also a printed paper, containing a copy of a declaration signed by about 30 of the medical men and solicitors of Derby in the year 1839. In that year about 1,500 of the principal inhabitants of the Derby district signed a request to the postmaster of Derby that their letters might not be forwarded to them on the Lord's-day, except in cases of emergency. Although these persons wished, so long as their letters should arrive at Derby on the Sunday, to be permitted to receive those containing intelligence relating to the dangerous illness of their friends and to other cases of great emergency, it was fully understood that they desired the total abolition of the transmission and delivery of letters during the 24 hours of that day; for these same persons, together with many thousands of others in various parts of the county of Derby, petitioned Parliament year after year to that effect. He likewise encloses a document put forth by the Committee of the Derbyshire Lord's-day Society in 1815.

In the years 1833 and 1834, and in subsequent years, large public meetings were held in great numbers of the parishes of Derbyshire, at which the subject of the entire stoppage of the Sunday mails and of the delivery of letters was always received with the greatest approbation.

He mentions other facts as evidencing the strong feeling which has been manifested on the subject for many years in this county.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

112. Letter from the Venerable the Archdeacon of Stafford, dated the Close, Lichfield, 8th August 1850, stating that the dissatisfaction with which the first announcement of the suspension of Sunday labour in the Post Office was received by some of the inhabitants of this city has in a great measure subsided, and that no serious amount of practical inconvenience has been caused by the change.

The manager of one of the banking establishments assures him that he highly approves the regulation for closing the Post Office on Sunday, and earnestly wishes its continuance. The leading partner in the other frankly acknowledges that the inconvenience sustained by the bank is of small amount, and might easily be obviated by one or other of the three following arrangements:

(1.) Allowing registered letters (containing money, bills, remittances, &c.), to be returned to the parties registering them on Saturday evenings only, and to remain in their custody till the following evening, and put into the letter-box then, instead of lying all Saturday night and the whole of Sunday in the Post Office, exposed to risk of fire or depredation.

(2.) Allowing the Post Office to be open for an hour on Sunday evening (say from 9 to 10, or 10 to 11), for the purpose of registering letters.

(3.) Requiring country postmasters to provide, in their several offices, iron safes or other secure places of deposit for the preservation of registered letters during the 24 hours of the Sabbath.

He begs to be understood as conveying not his own sentiments and wishes on this subject, but those of the highly respectable banker with whom he conferred on the general question of keeping the Post Office closed on Sundays.

The opinion of several respectable tradesmen is decidedly in favour of the continuance of the present restrictions, which are thought likely to be productive of much and substantial relief to the Post Office employés, without any countervailing disadvantage other than that of depriving the Sunday readers of newspapers of the facility of receiving their news by post on Sunday mornings.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

113. Letter from Mr. John Pyne, dated Sonierton, 8th August 1850, on the subject of the desecration of the Sabbath, by the Sunday labour in the Post Office, especially of that part of it which applies more immediately to the country as distinguished from the metropolis, and which consists in the delivery of newspapers and letters, on the Lord's day. The question ought by this time, in fairness, to be left at rest, and would have been so, but for the discontent of that portion of the community, a large portion who know not how to value the Christian Sabbath as they ought, but endeavour to eke out its dull and wearisome hours, by the reading of newspapers. The reasons assigned by them for stirring up the question afresh, are the interruptions to secular business, and to the intercourse between distant relatives and friends, which the existing postal regulation occasions; but these are mere pretexts; he has been practising as an attorney and solicitor in this country, for more than 40 years. He has two sons and two daughters, all married, having families, and residing in four different counties. He is in the practice of occasional correspondence with them all. For upwards of three years last past he has forbidden all letters and newspapers from being sent from the Post Office to his house on the Sunday, and the very few and far between inconveniencies which have been occasioned by that prohibition, have been mere feathers and trifles, and not worthy to be mentioned in comparison with the comforts which he derives from the enjoyment of the Sabbath uninterrupted by worldly business and worldly cares.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

114. Letter from Mr. Melmoth Walters, Barrister, dated 8th August 1850, stating that the new arrangements are most satisfactory to his mind, not only on account of their general effect, but because he can now avail himself of the Saturday night post, having previously, for many years, lost the use of that post as well as Sunday's post; and because the letters intended for delivery on Sunday, had previously been left in the custody of the letter carrier, whereas at present they remain in the Post Office itself.

The only objection he has heard as to the non-delivery of a letter, was from a banker's clerk, whose late principal, Mr. Mackenzie, probably the best man of business in this city, signed more than ten years ago, a memorial for the total stoppage of the Sunday mail. He submits that complaints respecting newspapers might be obviated by an attention, on the part of Government, to Mr. Gilbert's suggestions.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

115. Letter from Mr. Kidman, grocer, dated Hounslow, 8th August, 1850, stating that in the way of business, he receives a number of letters, sometimes on Sunday morning receiving two or three ; he begs leave to state, that since the non-delivery on that day (Sunday), he has not experienced the least inconvenience; he hopes that the proper observance of the Sabbath, at the Post Office, may continue without interruption.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

116. Letter from Mr. J. S. Austin, dated Wootton-under-Edge, in the county of Gloucester, forwarding a memorial from the inhabitants of Woottou-under-Edge, and respectfully inviting attentive consideration to its contents. He adds, that the memorial embodies the real sentiments and feelings of the greater portion of the most respectable inhabitants of the town and parish of Wootton-under-Edge.

The memorialists state, that the delivery of letters and newspapers throughout the country on the Lord's Day is unnecessary; they pray that the recent postal arrangements to that effect may have a full and fair trial, and that with a view to securing that object, the machinery of the Post Office may be so altered and adapted as to afford the greatest facility for carrying out those regulations, and also that a sufficient time may be given to test their operation under an improved system.

The memorialists likewise state, that it is their firm conviction that the cessation of the delivery of letters on the Lord's-day will have a beneficial influence on the community at large, and enable multitudes before engaged in almost unceasing labour, to enjoy that day of rest so mercifully set apart by the All-wise Creator for the benefit of all his creatures.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

120. Letter from Mr. Jeffs, dated Bath, 8th August 1850, forwarding a copy of the petition from Bath, which was presented by Mr. Forster on the 9th ult., when Mr. Lock's motion was brought forward.

Lord Ashley proposed his measure on the 30th May; the petition from Bath against it was three weeks at the Guildhall for signature, and was signed by 310 persons only; the petition now enclosed was down only one week, and received 1016 signatures, including 8 admirals and general officers, 5 clergymen of the Church of England, 3 bankers, &c.

The additional 706 names very plainly show that alteration of public opinion on Lord Ashley's measure which has taken place since its working has been witnessed; but the leading feature of this petition is the fact, that it was signed by 9 physicians and 11 surgeons.

There are no men who are better judges of what are really and truly cases of necessitycases in which it is “ lawful to do well on the Sabbath days” than medical men, who see the importance of immediate information being given, to afford relief for a writhing patient's agony.

He hears from surgeons that no Sunday passes without showing the absolute necessity of one Sunday delivery at the least.

Acknowledged on 9th August 1850. Laid before Committee.

LONDON: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES & Sons, Stamford Street,

For Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

ELEVENTH REPORT

OF THE

DEPUTY KEEPER

OF THE

PUBLIC RECORDS.

[3 APRIL 1850.)

Presented to bath Bonses of Parliamrut by Command of Her Majesty.

LONDON:
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET,

FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »