§ MR. BAUMANN (Camberwell, Peckbam)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware that the steamer Lochiel, which carries the mails between Strome Ferry and Stornoway, is so small that when the weather is rough she is unable to make the trip, and that she has several times during the past winter not made the voyage; whether he is aware that Mr. MacBrayne, the contractor, frequently sends the Lochiel round by Portree, thus delaying her arrival in Stornoway till 1 or 2 in the morning, while the Portree steamer is sent to out-of-the-way places to pick up sheep, cattle, and other traffic: and whether he will take some steps to provide a good and regular mail service between Strome Ferry and Stornoway?
§ *MR. RAIKES
Yes, Sir; I am aware that the steamer Lochiel has failed on certain occasions to perform the voyage between Strome Ferry and Stornoway on account of rough weather, when a larger and more powerful vessel might have succeeded. The deviations of route round by Portree, and the consequent deviations of the Portree steamer to which the hon. Member refers, have also, I am informed, been due to stress of weather. I regret that I am not in a position to incur the large additional expense which the employment of a more powerful steamer would involve, having regard to the fact that existing arrangements already entail a very heavy loss to the revenue.