§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware that, owing to the alterations under the new contract for the carriage of mails to the West Indies, &c, great inconvenience is being caused to merchants consequent upon the change of arrangements, both here and abroad, whereby the connections have been so altered that mails are frequently short-shipped and delivered here so late as to afford inadequate time for reply by the outgoing mail; and whether, having regard to the loss and inconvenience caused to merchants and others, be can see his way to make a representation to the Royal Mail Company to shorten the period now occupied in the passage of their steamers, so as to give greater facilities, pending the introduction of the arrangements concluded under the new contract?
§ * MR. RAIKES
With the exception of a letter which I have just received from the hon. Member, no complaints on the points named have reached me; but I was naturally aware that, in fitting the new West India Service, with its earlier day of departure, to the old, some slight inconvenience must arise. For example, on two occasions the interval between the arrival of the homeward mails at Plymouth, and the departure of the outward mails from Southampton, was abridged, the interval still being over five days in one case and four days in the other. Even this slight inconvenience may now be considered as ended, seeing that the next homeward mail is due at Plymouth on the 31st of July, 719 and the next despatch from Southampton is fixed for the 6th of August. The whole of the Service will then be performed under the new arrangements.