§ MR. WATT
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether the statement which appeared in the Morning Post of 31st March last, to the effect that the new contract between the Post Office and the Royal Mail Company for the conveyance of the West Indian Mails, though not signed, is virtually concluded, and will come into force in Juno next, is correct; whether he has received any memorials from the Colony in favour of the contract being granted to the Royal Mail Company; and whether it is the intention of the Government to bring the contract, before being closed, under 556 the notice of Parliament; and, if not, whether he will state the particulars of the new contract, especially with regard to the maximum time to be occupied on the voyages?
§ *THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES,) University of Cambridge
A tender of the Royal Mail Company has been accepted for the conveyance of West India Mails from the 1st of July next, when the present contract expires. The contract is now in preparation, and will, in the usual course, be submitted to Parliament for approval, with a statement as to its terms. I hope it will be possible so to submit the new contract before the date appointed for its commencement. Before accepting this tender Her Majesty's Government elicited the opinions of the West India colonies, which, equally with this country, are interested in the services and contribute to its support, and ascertained that they were almost unanimous in desiring that the new contract should be given to the Royal Mail Company.