§ ADMIEAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Secretary of State has considered the question of improved postal communication with Cyprus, in view of the earnest represen- 906 tations made from time to time by the merchants and residents of the island, by special petition to this Hous3 and otherwise; whether, since the subsidised mailservice has been discontinued, it takes 12 and often 13 or more days for letters to reach the island, instead of six and a half days whilst the mail contract was in force; whether complaints have reached him that the abolition of the regular mail service has had a serious effect upon the trade of the island, and with this country especially; whether he is aware that it has been proposed to remit the "light and port dues" in Larnaca and Limasol to any line of steamers running direct, and under postal contract, with a weekly mail from Egypt, in lieu of a regular subsidy; and whether he will confer with the Postmaster General on the subject, with a view to inviting tenders on this basis, and thus obtain a great service and benefit for the island at no cost to its exchequer?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
The question of improved postal communication with Cyprus has, at various times, occupied the attention of Secretaries of State, but not lately, as the present arrangements are considered as satisfactory as the financial resources of the island will admit. It does take from 11 to 13 days for letters to reach the island. The time formerly occupied was usually about six and a half or seven days; but the connection with the Brindisi express sometimes failed. As regards the third paragraph of the question, no such complaints have reached the Colonial Office for a long time; and as trade and shipping Returns show an increase, it is not probable that such complaints will be made. With respect to the concluding paragraphs, we have not had any such proposals made to us by any shipowner to perform a weekly direct service on these terms. If such a proposal is made it will receive attentive consideration.