§ MR. FRASER-MACKINTOSH
I beg to ask the Postmaster General if he has received complaints of the inefficiencies and delays in the Postal Service by sea between Strome Ferry and Lochmaddy; whether he will grant a Return as from 1st September last showing how often, and for what periods, the steamer carrying the mails was behind time; and whether he is perfectly satisfied that the steamer now on the line, the Handa, is of a size and model safely fitted for this stormy route in winter?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES, Cambridge University)
Yes, Sir; I have received complaints on this head, and it is admitted by the contractor for the service that the usual time has not been observed owing to the temporary necessity of placing the Handa on the station. To replace this vessel the Staffa was ordered last month, but on her way to Skye she unfortunately ran aground and now needs repair. The service provided for under the contract is a service three days a week, but that actually given is on six days a week, and it is being performed to the best of the contractor's ability in circumstances of much difficulty. I sympathise, however, with the inhabitants of the locality as to its present inadequacy, which I am determined shall not be allowed to continue. It would serve no good purpose, I think, to furnish the Return asked for by the hon. Member.