MR. EUSTACE SMITH
asked the Postmaster General, If he can state to the House how often during the months 989 of November and December the Peninsular and Oriental Company delivered the outward Mails at Bombay after the contract time; the amount of penalties to which they became liable, and whether it is his intention to enforce such penalties?
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS,
in reply, said, that the mails were delivered at Bombay by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company five times after the contract time during the months of November and December last. On three of those occasions the delay arose from damage to the vessel or machinery, and, consequently, in the terms of the contract, the company were not liable to penalties. The penalties incurred in the two other cases, amounting to £400, would necessarily be enforced, the terms of the contract leaving the Postmaster General no option in the matter.
§ MR. GOLDNEY
asked the Postmaster General, If he will state the number of Mails delivered at Bombay since the 1st of August last under the Peninsular and Oriental Company's amended Contract of that date; how many of them have been delivered within the time prescribed and how many beyond it; if any premiums are due to the Company for early deliveries; and, whether in eases where penalties have been incurred for late deliveries, the Postmaster General has any information as to the delays having arisen from causes beyond the control of the Contractors, and which would have relieved them from penalties under the previous Contract of August 1870?
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS,
in reply, said, that the number of mails delivered at Bombay since the commencement of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company's contract of the 1st of August last (for which Official Returns had been received) was 20. In 14 cases out of the above number the mails were delivered within the prescribed contract time, and on six occasions after time. No premiums were payable to the company under their present contract for the delivery of mails within time. In three out of the six cases of excess of time the delay arose from accidents to machinery, and no penalties were leviable. In two other cases the delay arose from causes beyond the control of the contractors, which causes would, under the previous contract of August, 1870, have 990 relieved the contractors from the penalties. In the sixth case the excess of time was six hours only, and no penalty was incurred.