HC Deb 16 April 1896 vol 39 cc1019-20

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware of the action of the postal authorities of the United States of America in ordering that all newspaper matter for Great Britain, Ireland, and the Continent must be dispatched by the American line of steamers plying between New York and Southampton, except directed for transmission by a particular ship of the British lines, a condition requiring that every person posting in America should know the names and dates of sailings of every British vessel carrying mails to Great Britain and Ireland; whether he is also aware of the great delay and inconvenience that this arrangement will cause to the general public, and especially to all interested in newspaper enterprise in Great Britain, Ireland, and the Continent, by reason of the delay in delivery of newspapers; and whether he will make representations on these matters to the United States postal authorities with the view of cancelling this arrangement, or will he take any other action in the matter?

MR. W. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been directed to the delay in the delivery of American newspapers generally, but in particular to the residents of Ireland and North Britain; whether he is aware that all newspaper matter mailed in the United States will have to wait the weekly departure of the American Line steamer; whether the route viâ Queens-town, having been proved to be more expeditious for Ireland and North Britain, will this route in future be preferred to Southampton for those mails; and whether he can arrange that the American Post Office will allow the designation viâ Queenstown to suffice instead of naming the steamer as well?

SIR GEORGE BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the Government of the United States have ordered that all newspaper matter posted in or through the United States is to be carried to Europe by one particular line of steamers which provides fast steamers only once a week; and whether Her Majesty's Government will indicate to the Government of the United States that such action causes great delay and inconvenience to the intercourse between the two countries?


I will answer the Questions of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, the St. Patrick's Division, Dublin, and the Kirkdale Division, Liverpool, together. The Postmaster General has already caused a communication to be addressed to the Postmaster General of the United States on the subject referred to, and he is now awaiting a reply. It should be borne in mind, however, that in common with all other postal Administrations of the Postal Union, the Post Office of the United States is at liberty to make its own arrangements for the transmission of correspondence from that country?


asked whether they were to understand that it was in the power of the American postal authorities to act according to their own views in this matter, and delay the correspondence coming to this country?


They have, I understand, done nothing which they have not power to do.

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