HC Deb 31 March 1887 vol 313 cc53-4
MR. FRASER-MACKINTOSH (Inverness-shire)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he is aware that the Island of Scalpay, in Harris, containing a population of 600, and where, during the fishing season, a large business is carried on, has neither post nor telegraph office; whether communication by post and telegraph has been sanctioned in the case of Barra and other localities in the Hebrides, as being essential to such communities; whether letters from Glasgow to Scalpay occupies sometimes 10 days in transmission; and, whether, now that the fishing season is approaching, he will confer upon Scalpay a post and telegraph office?

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

I am aware that Scalpay is without a post or telegraph office. Postal communication to Barra is a thing of long standing; but there is considerably more correspondence for Barra than for Scalpay, and each case of this kind must be dealt with on its merits. In regard to telegraphic communication to Barra, a guarantee from the inhabitants was obtained before the extension was sanctioned. Letters from Glasgow for Scalpay arrive at Harris on the second day after posting; but I cannot say how much time subsequently elapses before the letters reach Scalpay, as that must depend on the opportunities which the inhabitants have of sending to Harris for their correspondence. The attention of the Department has more than once been given to the question of establishing a post to Scalpay; but I regret to find that neither a post office nor a telegraph office could properly be given, unless the inhabitants were prepared to guarantee the Department against loss.