§ MR. WATT
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been called to a statement made in a paper read before the Society of Arts on "Ocean Penny Postage," that a saving of one to two days only is effected in letters despatched "viâ Brindisi" to Australia; and whether, as a, matter of fact, the saving effected is from seven to eight days, as compared with the ocean route?
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question, I beg to ask if he is aware that the hon. Member for Glasgow is quoting words from a paper never read before the Society of Arts? I should have been glad to supply him with a correct version if he had done me the courtesy of com- 718 municating with me and stating that ho intended to ask this question. Arising out of this question, I should like to ask the Postmaster General whether the hon. Member for Glasgow has omitted the words "probably the more important class of business letters would still be sent by this (the Brindisi) route;" and whether the Postmaster General is aware that the fast mail steamers from Australia have repeatedly completed the all-sea voyage to England in as short a period as is allowed by contract by the Brindisi route?
§ * MR. RAIKES
In regard to the last question of the hon. Member, it is a fact that mail steamers occasionally arrive as stated. I cannot see the relevance of the second question to the one before the House. In reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, I may say that I do not consider myself bound at this moment to correct any or every statement in the paper on "Ocean Penny Postage" referred to by the hon. Gentleman, but I may say that if any statement is therein made that a saving of one to two days only is effected by sending mails to Australia viâ Brindisi, such statement is altogether erroneous. As a matter of fact, the saving effected as compared with the all-sea route is from seven to eight days. The vessels taking up the mails at Brindisi leave London on Thursday or Friday of the week before the mails leave London by the Brindisi route.