PRODUCTION OF TELEGRAMS
AUTHORISATION BY POSTMASTER-GENERAL IN INTERESTS OF JUSTICE
POST AND TELEGRAPH ACT 1901, s. 127
The Commissioner of Police at Perth, Western Australia has requested the Deputy Postmaster-General to let him have an original telegram forwarded over the signature of A.B. on 6 March from Fremantle to C.B., Kalgoorlie; also the undelivered reply to same of 7 March for court purposes, A.B. being in custody.
The Deputy Postmaster-General has wired for the approval of the Postmaster-General, who asks, in view of the provisions of section 127 of the Post and Telegraph Act 1901, to be advised as to the circumstances or conditions under which a telegram or copy of a telegram may be produced on the application of any person other than the person by whom it was sent or to whom it was addressed.
Section 127 makes it an offence for any person employed in a telegraph office to divulge the contents or substance of a telegram otherwise than by delivering it or a copy of it 'to the person to whom he is authorised to deliver such telegram or give such copy'. It does not affect the right of the Postmaster-General or a Deputy Postmaster-General to authorise the production of a telegram whenever he thinks proper in the interests of justice. The question as to when authority shall be given should if necessary be settled by regulation. Meanwhile authority might be given when production is required by the Chief Commissioner of Police or by a court presided over by Judges.
[Vol. 1, p. 397]