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PASSENGERS' BAGGAGEMAND THE FRENCH EXHIBITION. A Parliamentary paper, comprising the correspondence between the Treasury and the Customs on the subject of the search of passengers' baggage during the period of the French Exhibition, has been issued. Mr. G. W. Hunt, the Secretary to the Treasury, addressed a letter to the Commissioners of Customs, informing them that it appeared the suggestion made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a deputation which waited on him in January last, that the search might be made in transitu, was deemed by the railway companies to be imprac- ticable. Mr. Hunt then mentioned two other proposi- tions that had been made :—1. That Customs' officers should be stationed at the Paris termini of the Northern and the Rouen Railways, there to inspect any luggage which the owners might desire to be then so dealt with. 2. That Customs' officers at the Paris termini should be present at the weighing and labelling of passengers' luggage for England, and should mark any particular articles in their discretion for examination on arrival in this country, leaving baggage not so marked to be de- livered at once to the owners. In reply to this communi- cation, the Commissioners of Customs, acting upon the opinions of their most experienced and practical officers, demur to both proposals-to the first, as tending rather to increased inconvenience on the part of the passengers, and as absolutely impracticable without great changes in the conduct of business by the railway companies, and important alterations in the railway premises in Paris. The second proposition they regard as less objection- able, but doubt its efficacy to meet the public con- venience, and point to the annoyance that would be ex- perienced by the owners of baggage specially marked for examination, while that of other passengers would be allowed to pass unchallenged. The Commissioners of Customs then propose to meet the wishes of the public at the present time by the adoption of the following plan :-That baggage shall not be registered through from Paris to London, except in presence of the officers of the .English Customs. That such officers shall be allowed to inspect all such baggage while it is being registered and weighed, and to affix a label to any packages they may select. That all such packages so labelled shall be kept separate and distinct from other baggage, and be pro- .9 duced to the Customs' officers in London for examination. That all such' selected pack- ages shall not be delivered to the owners in London without the signature of a Customs' officer. That the railway company shall telegraph to London, either to the Customs or the railway company, the total number o["packages selected in Paris for examination in London, by each train, and the particular numbers of the respective parcels of baggage from which such packages have been selected. The Commissioners undertake that a suffi- cient staff of officers shall be provided, both at Paris and in London to insure dispatch, and prevent delay. All packages selected in Paris to be opened and ex- amined by the Customs' officers in London in the usual way, for which purpose they must be taken to the baggage warehouse. The officers in London may per- mit the delivery of the other packages at once, without interference on their part, under such arrangements as the railway company may make for the proper identifi- cation of the baggage. The correspondence concludes with an official letter from the Treasury, sanctioning the proposed arrangement for speedy adoption, and to remain in force during the continuance of the Paris Ex- hibition.


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