MR. STAVELEY HILL (Staffordshire, Kingswinford)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether the United States Postal Authorities have abandoned the practice under which the Homeward mails were entrusted to the most speedy vessels leaving the port of New York; and whether the effect of the non-adherence to this rule has been that the transfer of the mails from the White Star Line steamship Majestic to the Inman Line City of Chicago has caused delays in the arrival of the mails of three days, and the transfer from the Britannic to the City of Berlin of one day in the transit?
§ SIR H. MAXWELL
There is no reason to suppose that the United States Post Office has abandoned the principle of sending the mails to this country by the quickest ships from New York. It is true that on her two earliest voyages the Majestic brought only specially addressed correspondence; and on these occasions the City of Chicago likewise only brought a portion of the mails, the bulk being brought in 1138 both instances by the German Packet Aller. But since the Majestic has established her superiority, she has brought the whole of the mails whenever she has left New York. In the case of the Britannic also, it was a German steamer, the Lahn, that was preferred for the conveyance of the bulk mails; and the correspondence for England was thereby expedited. But the Irish mails sent by the City of Berlin would, as it turned out, have gained by being sent by the Britannic.