HC Deb 30 June 1884 vol 289 cc1676-7

asked the Postmaster General, Whether the accelerated mail service between London and Dublin will, as he recently anticipated, come into operation on the 1st of July; whether notice thereof has been given to the Irish Railway Companies; and, whether he will kindly state what progress has been made in the arrangements for the acceleration of the mails out from Dublin?


asked the Postmaster General, If he is now in a position to state whether the hoped for acceleration of the mail service between London and Cork can shortly take place?


asked the Postmaster General, If he will arrange with the Great Northern Railway Company that when the mails arrive late in Dublin they shall at once be forwarded by special train to Belfast and North of Ireland?


As the Questions of the hon. Members for Cork, Carlow, and Tyrone refer to the same subject, I think it would be convenient if I answer the three Questions together. The accelerated service between London and Dublin will, as stated some time since, come into operation to-morrow. With regard to the general acceleration of the mails beyond Dublin, I am glad to be able to state that negotiations have proceeded so far that I think there is now no doubt that on an early day, probably by the 1st of October, the mail will leave Dublin for Cork at 8 in the morning instead of at 9, arriving in Cork at a quarter past 12, instead of, as it now does, at 2. The mail train will leave Cork at a quarter to 2, instead of leaving, as at present, at half-past 12. When the accelerated steam service comes into operation next year, the mails will arrive in Cork a quarter of an hour earlier than the time just mentioned, and leave a quarter of an hour later. The acceleration to Cork will, I hope, improve the service to Waterford and Limerick, and generally to the South of Ireland. With regard to the mails for Belfast and the North of Ireland, the Department is now carefully considering what will be the best plan of accelerating these mails; and as to providing for those cases in which the packet arrives late at Kingstown, the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Tyrone (Mr. T. A. Dickson) shall not be lost sight of. With regard to the acceleration of the mails to the West of Ireland, the question presents greater difficulties; but I am carefully considering whether anything can be done to improve the service to Gal way, Sligo, and to the other towns served by the Midland Great Western Railway Company.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman would include in the acceleration to Belfast the North and North-West of Ireland generally?


I said Belfast and the North of Ireland generally.


asked whether there would be an improvement along the Wexford line?


I hope so; I am looking over the whole service, and am considering Wexford. We are considering generally throughout Ireland, whether it would be possible to effect an acceleration.


asked whether the proposed arrangements might not be placed in the Library of the House, so as to save Members the trouble of putting these Questions?


said, when they came to a decision with regard to any particular acceleration, he would very gladly communicate it to the Members who were interested in it.


asked if there was any intention to accelerate the service between Portadown and Londonderry as well as between Dublin and Belfast?


I should not like to give any promise; but that is one among many accelerations that are now being considered. It is a complicated question, but we will deal with it so far as we can.