§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General—(1) whether, on two occasions recently, the American mails made up in London on Saturdays have reached New York within a few hours of those made up the preceding Wednesdays; (2) whether, as now arranged, in consequence of the slow speed of the Britannic and Germanic, compared with that of the Lucania and Campania, there will be every fortnight this year a practically simultaneous delivery at New York of the Wednesday and Saturday mails; and (3), whether, in future mail contracts, precautions will be taken against depriving the public of a semi-weekly delivery of the mails at New York?
§ MR. ARNOLD MORLEY
The answer to the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question is, Yes; and this is one of the minor drawbacks which occasionally qualify the public advantage of introducing such swift boats as the Campania and Lucania into a mail service. With regard to the second paragraph of the question, I am glad to be able to assure the House that there will not be every fortnight this year a practically simultaneous delivery at New York of the Wednesday and Saturday mails. As far as can be judged from the information in my hands, this is not likely to happen on many occasions in the next few months. Nevertheless, I have already called the attention of the contractors to the postal disadvantage 1038 resulting from the juxtaposition of slow and fast boats, and have ascertained from them that they have re-engined the Germanic with the view of securing a considerable acceleration by that vessel; and I have also obtained from them a promise to curtail the use of the slow boats as far as possible. The hon. Member is doubtless aware that the arrangements for accelerating the American mail on Saturday, which was rendered possible by the Saturday half-holiday, have reduced by at least four hours the interval between the sailing of the Wednesday and Saturday packet.