§ MR. ADDERLEY
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether any and what arrangement has been made for the transmission 1322 of mails to and from the Australian Colonies, including the branch services to South Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand; and, if not, what steps are being taken by Her Majesty's Government towards completing the same?
said, it would, doubtless, be in the recollection of the House that a contract had been entered into for the purpose of maintaining a monthly postal service between this country and Australia. That contract had come into operation in the mouth of August last, and it had been in full operation ever since, to the perfect satisfaction of the Government. The plan included an arrangement by which a branch mail should be established between Melbourne and Tasmania, on the one hand; and between Melbourne and New Zealand on the other; and orders had been sent out to the local authorities to make arrangements accordingly. The Government, however, had reason to believe, from information which they had received about a month since, that there had been some misunderstanding with regard to the branch mails between Melbourne and New Zealand. The authorities there imagined that no arrangement had been made with regard to those branch mails; but long before those representations were received instructions had gone out, and the necessary arrangements for the branch mails must by this time be made.