HC Deb 21 June 1883 vol 280 cc1146-7

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, having regard to the condition of affairs in Madagascar, and of the importance of the Mauritius as a Naval Station, and as the mail service on that route was carried out by French vessels only once a month, Her Majesty's Ministers would consider the necessity for increasing the mail communication between this country, Madagascar, and the Mauritius, especially as there was no telegraphic communication between Africa and those Islands?


My right hon. Friend the First Minister has asked me to answer this Question. In reply, I have to say that no proposal for increased mail communication between this country and Mauritius, including Madagascar, has been before the Treasury. There was a suggestion for subsidizing a line of steamers between Natal and Mauritius in 1879, on which the Colonial Office and Admiralty were consulted; but it was decided that the line would not be of sufficient importance to warrant their Lordships of the Treasury in asking Parliament to contribute to its support. At this moment I cannot say that we see any necessity for a duplicate line to Mauritius; but, beyond doubt, the Departments concerned will watch the course of events.