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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland


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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 31/01/1810
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458 ( Ireland.) Eighth REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS [ Appendix [ Poft. recurred to, and in that cafe it will be neceffary that the Accountant General Ihould receive notice of fuch bills as are returned protefted, in order that their amount and the cofts of the protest may be charged againft the Deputies remitting, and that the Treasurer may get credit for them in his next quarterly Account. The aCtual state of the Deputy Postmasters balances feems to have been but little attended to. • Their amount at the close of each of the laft nine years, appears from the Poft Office Books to have been as follows, viz. Anpendii, No. 18. Appendix, Appendix., No. 21. From the annexed Account will alfo be feen the cash- balance due by each Deputy Poftmafter on 5th January 1808 and 1809 respectively. The long neg- leCt of this moft important part of the Poft Office management is highly reprehen- fible, and cannot bejuftified by the necessity of leaving money in the hands of the Poftmafters to anfwer the payment of their respeCtive Offices, which from their being fo trivial would be amply provided for out of their current receipts. Thus notwithftanding the difburfements of the Post Office of Cork, in point of Revenue, one of the moft productive Offices in Ireland, do not amount on an average to £. 10. per quarter, the Postmaster had in his hands on 5th January '. 809 jf. 931. 10. 4- 1- On the same day the Postmaster of Belfast had in his hands ^. 683. the Postmaster of Galway £. 647. and the Postmaster of Waterford 543. The hazard to the Revenue from such remissness, if not sufficiently ob- vious, has been proved by the experience of the last year, in which, according to Appendix, No. 19. a ftatement made by the late Accountant General of the Post Office, no less a fum than jT. 2,495. 19- has been added to the balances due by deceased and dif- miffed Poftmafters. The total amount of these balances we have not the means of ftating, for though we called for a return thereof as they stood at the commence- ment of the prcfent Year, with the tames of the Post Towns and of the Deputies No. 20. and Surveyors in charge, and when they respeCtively accrued, the present Account- ant General reprefents that he has not the Information necessary for making out fuch an Account ; we find however, thai exclusive of any of the balances com- prized in the above- meniioned fum, there remained due on 26th May 1809, of thofe the Solicitor had been directed to sue for £. 1,119.4. 3. £.~ oo. ig. 1. of which had been returned to him for that purpose in the year 1808. To prevent fuch an accumulation of balances, we recommend that the Deputy Postmafters fhould be required to make their remittances at stated periods, which as it is the practice of many of them to accommodate individuals who reside at a distancefrom Poft- towns, by given them credit for the Postage of their Letters, and as in general they cannot afford to he in advance, fhould be so fixed as to allow them reasonable time to celleCt their charges ; if therefore they were permitted to retain a fortnight's receipts, thofe of one fortnight being remitted at the close of the succeeding, the fecurity of the Revenue and public convenience would, we conceive, be sufficiently provided for. ' J o enable the Postmasters General to enforce the observance cf this regulation, we deem it to be material that they should be regularly informed of the ftate of the Deputies balances ; it being probably from the want of fuch in- formation hitherto, though no justification of the negleCt that has exifted, that they Appendix, No. 15, have been uniformly permitted to retain such large sums in their hands. Accord- ing to the prefent praCtice, the Deputy Postmasters Accounts are only made up quarterly ; and though it is the duty of the Accountant General to return weekly to ihe Secretary during the current quarter, an Account of the fums remaining due for the balances { truck at the close of the preceding quarter, we find that this is only done occiffionally, and if such return were even regularly made, the then aClual balances uould not appear, as the current receipts form no part of the Ac- count. We therefore propose that the Accountant General ffiould make up monthly a check Account for each Post- town, bringing to its debit the charges incurred for General Office Letters, Bye Office Letters, and for British Letters by Waterford
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