§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, he rose to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is intended to proceed with the new General Post Office in Edinburgh, for which land has been purchased and plans decided on; or whether there is any intention of departing from the recommendations of a Committee of this House, which sat in 1854, in favour of keeping up separate Post Office Establishments in Edinburgh and Dublin?
§ MR. LAING
stated that the Post Office had recently had very heavy demands made upon it for the erection of new buildings in several of the principal towns of the country. Steps had been taken to ascertain whether in some cases an extension of the existing buildings would not suffice; and that had been found to be the case in Manchester and Liverpool. The Post Office authorities had been led to believe that by a small alteration of the establishment at Edinburgh it might be possible to continue the Post Office in the present building. It was true a site had been actually purchased from the town council at a cost of £60,000; therefore its abandonment would involve the necessity of applying to Par- 726 liament for an Act for the purpose. But he thought the House would not object to such a measure if it could be shown to be otherwise desirable, and to have the effect of saving £50,000 or £60,000. The inquiry was in progress, and in due course the parties interested in Edinburgh would be called upon to state their case. There had certainly never been any intention of departing from the recommendation of the Committee of 1854, that separate Post Office establishments should be kept up at Edinburgh as well as Dublin. The only suggestion was to withdraw one branch, the accountant's, from Edinburgh; but upon that point no decision would be come to without giving the parties interested a full opportunity of stating their views.