HC Deb 21 February 1888 vol 322 cc989-90
MR. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether Post Office subsidies are given to Steam Shipping Companies without stipulating that the vessels and their engines shall be entirely British built, British manned, and British commanded; and whether all other great nations carefully insert such stipulations before granting mail contracts or subsidies?

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

It has not been the practice of the Post Office, in making ocean mail contracts, to impose conditions such as those indicated by my hon. Friend, nor do I think that they are generally imposed by Foreign Governments in making similar contracts. On the contrary, I have reason to believe that some of the finest foreign mail steamers are British built. Our practice is to require contractors to provide good, substantial, and efficient steam vessels of adequate power and speed. In regard to the equipment and manning of contract mail ships, the conditions are such as those demanded by the Acts for regulating the Merchant Service.