HC Deb 20 July 1843 vol 70 cc1280-1
Dr. Bowring

observed that, to some extent, steam navigation had been established with the ports of Smyrna and Constantinople, and it had been recommended that it should be extended to Syria, the merchants of which were wholly without the means of steam communication. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it was proposed to make this extension?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

replied that about a year and a half ago a proposition was made to the Government to carry the mail direct from this country to Constantinople and Smyrna at an expense of 20,000l. or 30,000l. a year, but though the conveyance of letters was an important object, yet the more important reason for steam being employed was to enable the merchants of this country to send goods in answer to orders from Constantinople; and considering that it was foreign to the duty of the Post-office to make an arrangement under pretext of carrying the mails, which would pay for the transport of manufactures, the Government had declined the offer. A short time since another proposition for a direct communication was made at a considerably reduced rate of expenditure, which, if it were complied with, would diminish the advantages we enjoyed of communication with Oporto and Cadiz. In the interval, however, the Government had provided a more rapid mode of communication between this country and Constantinople and Smyrna, The last communication was under consideration as there was considerable difficulty in balancing the advantages of a direct communication with Constantinople and Smyrna, and the advantages of a communication with Oporto and Cadiz.

Dr. Bowring

understood that for an expense of from 5,000l. to 7,000l. a year we could have the advantage of a direct communication with Turkey Proper.

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