HC Deb 27 November 1890 vol 349 cc129-31

I beg to ask the Postmaster General if he is aware that while delays of mails to the North of Ireland have been frequent during the past six months, yet steam communication between Stranraer and Larne has been conducted with reasonable punctuality; and if he has made arrangements for the despatch of mails by this route?

MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he can state the number of days since 1st July last on which the English mails for Belfast and North of Ireland were late for despatch from Dublin by the mail train leaving there for Belfast at 7.25 a.m.?


I find that since the 1st of July last the English night mails for Belfast and the North of Ireland have missed the 7.25 a.m. mail train from Dublin on 11 occasions. I have made arrangements for the mails to be forwarded by a special train in future whenever the arrival at Amiens Street Station, Dublin, is after 7.40 a.m. The Post Office has no record of the sailings of the packet between Stranraer and Larne, and the question of adopting this route for the mails for the North of Ireland is now receiving careful consideration.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, considering the notorious fact that the mails are frequently late, he will make an inquiry whether there would not be a material saving of time by the Larne route, and whether proposals have been made to the carrying companies for a service by that route?


I have already intimated my willingness to consider any proposals which might be made by the Railway Companies controlling this route. Such proposals only reached me about a fortnight ago, and are now the subject of careful consideration and Comparison with those made by other companies.

MR. DE COBAIN (Belfast, E.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether, having regard to the increasing frequency of the late arrival and delivery of mails in Belfast and the North of Ireland generally, lately, he has given any further consideration to the question of an accelerated mail service by the Stranraer and Larne route, as placed before him by a large and most influential deputation from the North of Ireland during the last Session of parliament; and whether, having regard to the serious injury and inconvenience to trade resulting from the present service, he can give some assurance of the matter receiving his early and favourable attention?


I can assure the hon. Member that the question to which he refers has been constantly kept in view since it was last mentioned in this House. It involves very important issues, and is scarcely yet ripe for decision; but I hope soon to be in a position to make an announcement on the subject.