Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Limerick Postal Deliveries.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he has received complaints that last December six letters posted to a person in County Limerick [name and address supplied] within a period of three weeks never arrived at their destination; that letters posted at a County Limerick letter box between 3rd and 7th July, 26th July and 30th July were also lost or mislaid; that letters posted in England by the person in question and addressed to his wife in County Limerick were opened in the G.P.O., Limerick, last May; and if he will state the authority under which the letters were opened, and the reasons therefor, and why this person's letters have been consistently interfered with.

There is no knowledge or record in the Department of complaints regarding (a) the non-delivery of six letters which are stated to have been posted in December, 1955, to the County Limerick address of the person concerned or (b) the alleged opening of letters sent by that person from England to his wife in County Limerick. If the Deputy will let me know when and to whom the complaints are alleged to have been made I shall have these matters investigated.

The only relevant complaint recorded concerns a report made to the British Post Office regarding the non-receipt of a letter posted in County Limerick between the 1st and 7th July, 1956, and addressed to London. When this complaint was being investigated the sender of the item stated that a second one similarly addressed and posted in County Limerick on the 26th July, 1956, had also failed to reach the addressee. The inquiries made by my Department and the British Post Office regarding these two letters yielded no clue as to why they failed to reach the addressee. Both the sender and addressee were notified accordingly by letter dated 30th August, 1956.

Is the Minister aware that I furnished him with the original envelopes which were opened at the G.P.O. in Limerick? Is the Minister further aware that in the case of correspondence addressed to this man in England and correspondence addressed to his wife passing through the G.P.O. in Limerick, the majority of that correspondence has been opened? Is the Minister further aware that, according to this man's own statement which has already been submitted to the Minister, any letters addressed to him and posted elsewhere, from Wicklow, Dublin and Waterford, are not interfered with; but he says "It is significant that all my letters passing through Limerick G.P.O. are opened or interfered with"? Is the Minister further aware that marked across the envelopes are "Posted in London; cleared by customs, 22nd May, 1956; G.P.O. Limerick"?

It is implied in the Deputy's question that three complaints were lodged and three incidents occurred. We have only got information in relation to one and we have traced that one. I would ask the Deputy to give us the information upon which the other complaints were made and to whom they were made, and we will have them fully investigated.

Would the Minister state why these two envelopes were opened?

I could, if I got an opportunity of investigating it. I have got no evidence.

When I put down my question, I attached these envelopes for the Minister's inspection. Has the Minister seen them?

I have undertaken, if the Deputy helps me and gives me the necessary information, to trace the items, and then we will deal with them. The Post Office are very jealous of the protection afforded to letters, either registered or unregistered.

Would the Minister state why these letters were opened? The Minister is aware they were opened and will he state why they were opened?

I have had no evidence until now that they were so opened.

Question No. 18.

If the Deputy will give me that information, I will have the items traced immediately.

I gave it to the Minister.