HC Deb 31 July 1857 vol 147 cc813-4

said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury What steps have been taken by her Majesty's Government in pursuance of the Report of the Committee on Contract Packets appointed under the Treasury Minute of 1st March, 1853; and whether it is now contemplated to grant an extension of any existing Contracts, notwithstanding the modifications recommended in that Report?


said, the Report to which the noble Lord referred contained a great number of recommendations, and one paragraph in it, having reference to the length of contracts for the postal service, pointed out the true principles on which the original contracts and the renewals of contracts were made. He was not aware how far those principles had been acted upon. Most of the services had been let for a long period. The contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Company was for no less than eight years, and that with the Royal West India Mail Company was for eleven years. They had no official proposal before the Treasury at present for he extension of any of those services. Whenever they might have any such application before them it would be the time for them to consider whether it would be for the public advantage that any such extension should take place. Certainly on no other consideration would any extension take place; but at the present moment they had no such application before them.