HC Deb 16 November 1852 vol 123 cc208-10

said, that the House was doubtless aware, from the statements which had recently appeared in the public prints, that great injury had been done to certain lines of railway within the last few days, in consequence of the heavy rains, and in certain districts great inconvenience was occasioned, not only by the stopping of the regular communications, hut also by the delay of the usual mails. It appeared to him that there was some want of proper caution on the part of the Post Office authorities in not forwarding the mails with that expedition which they might have used; for even though some of the great lines had been damaged, the mails should have been forwarded in the old way—by the turnpike roads—until they had reached such parts of the railway as might be made available for communicating with the metropolis. During the last week several lines of railway in the Midland Counties were, he believed, stopped, in consequence of the damage that was done to them. At one place in particular within about four or five miles of Leicester a viaduct was carried away, which was not likely to be restored for about a fortnight or three weeks. The greatest inconvenience had arisen, in consequence, to the people of Leicester, from the non-adoption of proper measures for the forwarding of the mails by some other route. He knew himself of letters containing intelligence of the deepest importance and interest, posted in Leicester on Friday, not reaching London until Monday morning. The day mail, which was forwarded from London on Saturday morning, did not reach Leicester until seven o'clock in the evening. Now where there was another line open, the mails might have been conveyed at almost the same degree of speed with which they were forwarded for many years past. He was informed that the great line of communication near Tamworth had been stopped by an injury which had occurred to a bridge in the neighbourhood. He wished to call public attention to the subject, and more particularly to urge that everything should be done to facilitate the conveyance of the mails. He should conclude by moving that the Postmaster General be requested to order that the day mail between London and Leicester should be conveyed by way of Peterborough, Stamford, and Melton Mowbray, until the line of railway between Leicester and Rugby (which has been stopped in consequence of the injury done to it, caused by the late heavy rains) be re-opened.


said, he was sure that the House would not agree in the terms of this Motion when he informed them that the fact was, the Post Office authorities had used the greatest possible exertions to expedite the conveyance of the mails. He had just received a communication which stated that the day mail from Leicester had arrived on that day without the delay of a single hour. Under such circumstances he thought that the hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to persevere in his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.