Post Office (Money Orders) Act 1848
(11 & 12 Vict c.88, 31st August 1848)
An Act for further regulating the Money Order Department of the Post Office.
[31st August 1848]
'WHEREAS by an Act passed in the Fourth Year of the Reign of Her present Majesty, intituled An Act for the Regulation of the Duties of Postage, it is enacted, that the Mode of transmitting small Sums of Money through the Post Office, by means of Money Orders, under Regulations which had been made by the Postmaster General, with the Concurrence of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, might have Continuance so long as the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury should see fit: And whereas it is expedient to make further Provisions as to Money Orders granted or issued by the Post Office:' Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty,by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That no Money Orders heretofore granted under or by virtue of the said Regulations, or of the said recited Act, shall remain, continue, or be in force for a longer Period that Twelve Calendar Months from and after the passing of this Act; and that from and after the Expiration of that Period all Liability to pay such Money Orders by or on the Part of the Postmaster General, or of any Officer of the Post Office or of the Post Office Revenue, shall absolutely cease and determine: Provided always, that it shall be lawful for the Postmaster General and he is hereby authorized, with the Consent of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, to pay any such Money Orders in special Cases or under special Circumstances after such Period shall have expired: Provided also, that it shall be lawful for the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, at any Time or Times hereafter, by Warrant under their Hands, to alter the Period hereby fixed and limited for the Payment of Money Orders heretofore granted, and to fix any other Period for the Payment of the same, such Alteration nevertheless not to commence or be in force until after the Expiration of Three Calendar Months after due Notice of the proposed Alteration shall have been given in the London Gazette.
II. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Postmaster General, with the Consent of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, at any Time hereafter, to make any Regulations or Restrictions relating to Money Orders, either heretofore granted or issued or to be hereafter granted or issued, and to the Payment thereof, and to the Persons by or to whom the same shall be paid, and to the Times at which and the Mode in which the same shall be paid, as the said Postmaster General, with such Consent as aforesaid, shall see fit, and from Time to Time, with such Consent as aforesaid, to alter or repeal any such Regulations or Restrictions, and make and establish any new or other Regulations or Restrictions in lieu thereof; and that all such Regulations and Restrictions shall be binding and conclusive, as well upon the Persons to whom such Money Orders have been or shall be granted or issued, and the Payees thereof, and all Persons interested or claiming under them, and all other Persons whomsoever, as upon all Officers of the Post Office; and all such Regulations and Restrictions shall have the same Force and Effect in all respects as if the same had been and were contained in and enacted by this Act; and that no Action, Suit, or other Proceeding at Law or in Equity shall be brought, instituted, or commenced in any Court or before any Judge or Justice, or otherwise howsoever, against the Postmaster General or against any Officer of the Post Office, or against any other Person whomsoever, for or by reason or in consequence of the making of any such Regulations or Restrictions, or of any Compliance therewith, or otherwise in relation to any such Regulations or Restrictions, or for or by reason or in consequence of the Payment of any such Money Orders being refused or delayed by or on account of any accidental Neglect, Omission, or Mistake, by or on the Part of any Officer of the Post Office, or for any other Cause whatsoever, without Fraud or wilful Misbehaviour on the Part of any such Officer of the Post Office, any Law, Statute, or Usage to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.
III. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Postmaster General at any Time hereafter to repay or refund the Amount of any Money Orders either heretofore granted or issued or to be hereafter granted or issued to the Person or Persons to whom the same have been or shall or may be so granted or issued, or his, her, or their Executors or Administrators, whether such Money Orders shall remain or be in the Possession of such Person or Persons or not; and that in all Cases from and immediately after any such Repayment or refunding as aforesaid, all Liability by or on the Part of the Postmaster General, or of any Officer of the Post Office or of the Post Office Revenue, for or in respect of such Money Orders or of the granting or issuing of the same, or of the Repayment or refunding the Amount thereof, shall, as against the Payees of such Money Orders and the Holders thereof, and all other Persons whomsoever, absolutely cease and determine.
IV. And be it enacted, That every Officer of the Post Office who shall grant or issue any Money Order with a fraudulent Intent shall in England and Ireland be guilty of Felony, and in Scotland of a high Crime and Offence, and shall, at the Discretion of the Court, either be transported beyond the Seas for the Term of Seven Years or be imprisoned for any Term not exceeding Three Years.
V. And for the more effectual Prosecution of Offenders be it enacted, That in any Indictment or Criminal Letters for any Felony or Misdemeanor committed or attempted to be committed in, upon, or with respect to the Post Office or the Post Office Revenue, or in, upon, or with respect to any Property, Monies, Money Orders, Goods, Chattels, or Effects under the Management or Control of the Postmaster General, or where any Act, Matter, or Thing shall have been done or committed by any Person with or for any malicious, injurious, or fraudulent Design, Intent, or Purpose, in anywise relating to or concerning the Post Office or the Post Office Revenue, or any such Property, Monies, Money Orders, Goods, Chattels,or Effects as aforesaid, or the Postmaster General, it shall be sufficient to lay any such Property in, and to state or allege the same to belong to, and to state or allege any such Act, Matter, or Thing to have been done or committed with Intent to injure or defraud 'Her Majesty's Postmaster General;' and in all Indictments and Criminal Letters relating to or in anywise concerning the Department of the Post Office, it shall be sufficient to name and describe the Postmaster General as 'Her Majesty's Postmaster General' without any further or other Name, Addition, or Description whatsoever.
VI. And be it enacted, That whenever the Warrant of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury is required by this Act, such Warrant may be under the Hands of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, or any Three of them; and that whenever the Order, Consent, Authority, or Direction of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury is prescribed by this Act, such Order, Consent, Authority, or Direction (not being by Warrant) may be signified either under the Hands of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, or any Three of them, or under the Hand of One of their Secretaries or Assistant Secretaries.
VII. And be it enacted, That any printed Copy of the London Gazette, purporting to be printed and published by the Person or Persons having Authority to print and publish the same, shall be admitted as Evidence by all Courts, Judges, Justices, and others in any Part of Her Majesty's Dominions of any Treasury Warrant and of any Regulations or Restrictions which shall be issued or made under or by virtue of this Act, and contained in any such Gazette, and of the due issuing thereof, and of the Contents of any such Warrant, Regulations, or Restrictions, without any further or other Proof.
VIII. And be it enacted, That this Act shall be deemed and taken to be a Post Office Act, and that the several Terms and Expressions used in this Act shall be construed according to the respective Interpretations contained or referred to in the said Act passed in the Fourth Year of the Reign of Her present Majesty, so far as those Interpretations are not repugnant to the Subject or inconsistent with the Context of such Terms and Expressions.
IX. And be it enacted, That this Act may be amended or repealed by any Act to be passed during the present Session of Parliament.