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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

31/01/1810

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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 31/01/1810
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No. 45.] ON FEES, GRATUITIES, & c—( Pott- Office.) 9x No. 45. The Examination of Mr. THOMAS THOMPSON; taken upon ^ . „ . , ° ath> the 25th May and 30th Auguft 1800. This Examinant faith, y That he is Solicitor to the Post Office, and has been fo fince the year 1801; he has a salary on the Establishment of £ 100. in Conf. deration of which it is his duty to write to Deputies and Letter Carriers returned in arnear to Examinant by the Secretary, report upon all matters referred to him, attend at the Poft Office when required, and prepare the Bonds of the different persons employed in the Department, and of their fureties ; for fear chin2 for judgments against the latter he charges fees, which are paid by the perfon to be appointed • for all other services he furnishes Bills of Cofts. Examinant does not commence any Suits' against Deputies in arrear or their Sureties, without being authorized by a Letter from the Secretary, stating the Arrear, and direding legal proceedings to be taken for the recovery thereof, but no proceedings are taken againlt the Sureties of any Deputy until he has been dismissed from his office ; formerly returns of Arrears due by Deputies were made quarterly to Examinant, whereupon he usually wrote to each Deputy fo returned in arrear, threaten- ing to take law proceedings to compel payment thereof, previous to the receipt of which letters they seldom made any remittance on account of fuch Arrears. In Adlions againft Deputies in arrear or their Sureties, Examinant charges no other Cofts than thofe recovered from the person sued when he sueceeds, but in fome few cafes of Infolvent Arrears, Examinant has a claim of Costs against the Post Office., amounting to near ^ 300., for which he has not yet furnished an Account. Examinant has at different periods returned fuch Arrears as he deemed irrecoverable, in order that they might be written off the books. Examinant has the cuftody of the Deputies Bonds, they were committed to his charge about three years fince, upon an order from the Treafury to infpett the Securities of all Deputy Poftmafters ; before that time they were kept in the Secretary's Office ; he found that in many inftances there were not any Bonds, and in fuch cafes he endeavoured to fupply the deficiency by having Bonds executed. When Examinant firft entered on the duties of his office, it was the pradtice of the Solicitor to commence any criminal proceedings he thought neceffary, without having the authority of the Secretary for fo doing ; but about five years fince, the Secretary defired that no expence ffiould be incurred under that head, without his previous diredfions. On being however informed of the difcovery of any property, fuch as Bank Notes, & c. that had been embezzled in the Poft Office, or of which the Mails had been robbed, he proceeds in the firft inftance without any fuch authority to trace the property in its transfer from one perfon to another, fo far as the fame can be effedted in the city of Dublin, and having difcovered the offender, he confults with the Counfel of the Poft Office on the circumflances of the cafe, and if he is of opinion, that a profecution Ihould be commenced, he applies for the Secretary's authority to proceed ; if in tracing any fuch property a neceffity arifes for going out of Dublin, he in fuch cafes applies to the Secretary for authority fo to do. Examinant's Bills of Cofts are taxed by Mr. Benjamin Ricky, Deputy to Mr. John Pollock, who is Clerk of the Crown for the province of Leinster. Mr. Pollock is likewife Crown Solicitor for the Home Circuit, in which capacity Mr. Ricky alfo ads for him. The Crown Solicitor's emoluments are derived from the allowances made to him in his Bills of Cofts. Examinant, when fent to the country to attend profecutions, or upon any other Poft Office bufinefs, is now allowed two { hillings and two- pence a mile for his travelling expences, formerly he charged the adtual expence in- curred. He is alfo allowed, in addition to the fees ufually taxed on fuch occafions, an extra fum for his attendance in proportion to the diftance of the Affizes town or other place to which he has been fent from Dublin; this allowance is regulated by Mr. Josias Dunn, who, fince 1806, has fuperintended the taxation of Examinant's Bills of Costs, and who requires Vouch- ers to be produced for any diffiurfements made by him. In taxing his Bills of Cofts of late, Mr. Dunn has reduced the extra allowances formerly made to him when fent to the country, and alfo difallowed fome of the fees for his perfonal attendance on the fame occafion, which had been before admitted by him. The number of Counfel employed is regulated by the Poftmafters General; formerly there were ufually four, but the present Postmasters General have eftabliffied the number at three •, however, Examinant of his own authority retained a fourth Counfel ' it Cork in a very important cafe at the laft Assizes. Examinant pays witnesses fuch expences as he thinks they are juftly entitled to, but the Counsel, who advises the proofs neceffary at the trial, direds Examinant in the feledion of the necessary witnesses. Rewards to witneffes are paid by order of the Secretary. Examinant conceives the Average amount of his profits as Solicitor to the Poft Office, to be from twelve to fifteen hundred pounds a year; his profits have been decreafing fince the year 1803, in which there were many profecuuons for Mail robberies, but fince the renewal of the war, they have been lefs frequent. Lxami- xiant thinks, however, that embezzlements have been more numerous fince that period. Fred. Geale, ** S° K Robert Alexander, Chas. Stewart Hawthorne, John Hamilton, ( 5 40
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