MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the Department propose to remove more of the work from the Holy-head and Kingstown packet, at present performed by sorting clerks attached to 1021 the Dublin General Post Office; and, if! it can he stated why the provincial (Ireland) mails on Monday mornings, and the Sunday morning day mail to England, which is equally as heavy as on; ordinary week days, are now sorted on the London and Holyhead Travelling Post Office?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Department does contemplate providing for a transfer of some slight additional sorting duty from the Holyhead and Kingstown Packet to the London and Holyhead Travelling Post Office, where it can be more conveniently performed, but details have not yet been settled. At present only a portion of the provincial correspondence for the Northern Division of Ireland, in addition to the Sunday morning mail to England, is sorted in the London and Holyhead Travelling Post Office on Sunday. The arrangement is adopted with the view of utilising the services of some officers of the Travelling Post Office who would otherwise not be fully employed.
§ MR. A. D. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, before the contract was made by the late Government for the mail packet service between Holyhead and Kingstown, the usual notices were given inviting tenders; and, if so, will he state the date on which the notices were given, and the date on which the tenders were to be sent in; or what, if any, steps were taken to secure an open competition for the contract; and, for how many years the contract was made, and what is the total amount that will be payable to the company under this contract?
§ MR. HANBURY
A public notice inviting tenders for the conveyance of mails between Holyhead and Kingstown was extensively advertised in the principal London and provincial newspapers, as well as in Scotch and Irish newspapers, on the 7th and 9th of July 1894. The same advertisement also appeared in the Contract Journal of July 11, 1894. The last date for receiving tenders was August 31, 1894. The new contract with the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company is for 20 years from April 1, 1897, and the total payment is £98,000 a year.