§ MR. PIM
said, he rose to call the attention of the Government to the Return of the Voyages of the Mail Steamers between Queenstown and America, and to the delay which takes place in the transit to and from London, especially at Queenstown, with respect both to the outward and inward mails; and to ask, Whether the Post Office authorities intend to take any measures to obviate these delays, and expedite, as much as possible, the transmission of letters between America and Great Britain and Ireland; and also to inquire when they intend to reduce the rate of postage from 1s. to 6d.? In so important a matter all the expedition possible ought to be employed, and that the delays which at present were constantly occurring might be prevented by the running of express trains in connection with the mails.
§ MR. HUNT
said, he would reply to the hon. Gentleman's last question first—namely, as to the rate of postage. It was expected that when the present contracts had determined it would be in the power of the Post Office to reduce the rate from ls. to 6d. With regard to the complaint that the mails were unduly detained, he must say that it was impossible to avoid delay on some occasions. With respect 2052 to the outward bound mails, he was informed by the Post Office authorities that the packet from Liverpool was timed to arrive at Queenstown not later than four in the afternoon. In fair weather the packet reached Queenstown before the arrival of the mails, and that would account for some of the delays in the hon. Member's Return. The trains were calculated to reach the port at the time when the packet was due on the average. There was no regular mail train on the Sunday, but there was a special train which arrived at thirty-eight minutes past two, and the mails reached the packet at half past three. With regard to the Inman line, that line was under contract with the United States.
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,
§ House adjourned at Eight o'clock.