HC Deb 23 May 1833 vol 18 cc62-3
Mr. Rolfe

presented a Petition from Falmouth against the substitution of ten-gun brigs for Falmouth packets in the service of the Post Office.

Captain Elliott

, after pointing out the inconveniences and in some instances, the danger incurred by the employment of hired packets, declared that the ten-gun brigs now employed in the packet service were much less frequently lost than was, generally supposed. During several years, only six King's packets had been lost, and those in voyages more dangerous than any in which the hired packets had been employed, whilst the loss of the latter had averaged about two per annum. One King's packet had been driven ashore at Barbadoes in a hurricane. The Redpole was lost on her voyage from the Brazils; and it was generally supposed, that she was captured by pirates, and destroyed. The Ariel, it was supposed, had been burnt on her voyage to the West Indies. The Calypso was understood to have been lost on an iceberg, after the pilot had forewarned the commander of his danger. It should be recollected, that the twenty-eight packets engaged, had made upwards of 1,000 voyages across the Atlantic, and only one of them could be shown to have been lost by stress of weather. As to the difference of expense, there was a saving of between ten and twenty-eight per cent by the increased speed of the King's packets. One petition on this subject stated, that the widows and children of persons lost in their packets were a great burthen to the town of Falmouth; whereas, from a return made, it appeared that only one widow was supported out of the Poor-rates of Falmouth, at a cost of five shillings per week. The petition, he believed, did not represent the feelings of the inhabitants of Falmouth generally, but only of a few interested persons. He had the satisfaction of being able to say, that vessels were now building of a superior construction for the packet service.

Petition to lie on the Table.

Back to