§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been called to the loss entailed on the inhabitants of the Island of Lewis by the mail contractor, Mr. MacBrayne, causing the mail steamer Locheil to diverge to Portree, both on her outgoing and incoming passage daily from Stornoway to Stromeferry since 27th June, to relieve himself of the expense of chartering a steamer for the Skye Mail Service, this divergence causing the Lewis Mails to lose the train connection at Stromeferry, and retarding their arrival at Stornoway by three to six hours behind the advertised time, notwithstanding that the right hon. Gentleman had caused the 1306 Stornoway Burgh Authorities to be informed on the 20th September last that Mr. MacBrayne had promised in September, 1889, that under no circumstances, unless compelled by storm to do so, would the Stornoway and Stromeferry steamer be diverted from her course; and whether he will use means of putting an immediate stop (if not already stopped) to such a course of action on the part of the contractor?
§ *MR. RAIKES
It appears that some dislocation of the Mail Service has been caused by one of the steamers employed striking on a rock. Mr. MacBrayne has been communicated with in respect of the divergence from the prescribed route complained of by the hon. Member, but I think the House will understand the difficulty in which the contractor was placed by the accident in question, and that the hon. Member will make some allowance for the unforeseen contingency. I will give directions that the service shall be restored to its normal state without delay.