§ MR. COGHILL (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been called to the inefficiency of the mail service between the United Kingdom and East British Central Africa; whether he is aware that a period of 33 days sometimes elapses without a mail arriving, although the Castle and Union Steamship Companies' steamers call at the ports of East British Central Africa; whether he has received complaints of the great inconvenience caused to the Europeans of the Shiré 508 Highlands in consequence of such irregular delivery of the mails; and whether he will take steps to remedy the grievance complained of?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Sir J. FERGUSSON,) Manchester, N.E.
I am well aware that the postal service to the remote regions of Central Africa is very imperfect. Correspondence for the Lake Nyassa region is in ordinary course sent to Zanzibar, to be forwarded as opportunities occur. The Castle Company's steamers do not appear to go to the ports of East British Central Africa, but the Union Company's go to Mozambique once in six weeks, and letters for the interior are sent by them when superscribed accordingly. The establishment of a regular packet, service to the Chindé mouth of the Zambesi would involve a much greater expense than the postal interests concerned would justify.