HC Deb 11 December 1857 vol 148 c580

said, that the delay "which had arisen in the conveyance of the mails by the European and Australian Company entailed such serious injury upon the commercial interests of the country that he was sure he need only call the attention of the Government to the subject in order to get the screw put on and the grievance removed. With the exception of the chartered ship the Sidmouth, none of the vessels employed by the company had performed their voyages in the stipulated time, and the company had incurred heavy penalties, which he was glad to hear that the Government had enforced. It was now understood that this company was really defunct, and it was pretty evident that the persons now concerned in the same were the West India Mail Company. The country had heard with dismay that this company would not be able to discharge their duties with efficiency until the month of May, and meanwhile persons leaving for Australia to-morrow, would have to remain in Egypt a month because there would be no vessel ready to take them on. As he understood that no returns could be made in addition to those already supplied, he should not proceed with the Motion of which he had given notice; but he implored the Government to expedite this company in the performance of its contract. They undertook to launch and purchase various vessels. As yet they had launched none, nor had they chartered any which were adapted to the work which they had to perform. There was one ship, the Mediterranean, the trial trip of which was quite satisfactory; but she, instead of being sent to the colonial station, was chartered for the conveyance of troops.


said, the papers relating to this service were already before the House, and the Admiralty would take care, as far as possible, to enforce upon the contractors the performance of their duty.

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