§ MR. WILLIAM JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, if he is aware that the mails brought by the Cunard steamer Etruria were landed at Queens-town station at 10.10 on the night of 28th February; that the last regular train having left for Dublin, a passenger was informed that the mails would be held over till the first train on the 29th ult.; and that it was only in consequence of the said passenger consenting to pay first-class fare that he, and with him the mails, were then sent on by special train; and, whether anything can be done to prevent the repetition of such a proceeding?
§ MR. HANBURY
The greater portion of the mails brought by the Etruria on the night of 28th February were not landed at Queenstown, but were taken on to Liverpool by sea. The arrangements for the employment of special trains apply only when the mails for the whole of the United Kingdom are landed, the mails for Ireland by themselves not being sufficient in quantity to warrant the cost of a special train for their conveyance to Dublin. Advantage is, however, taken of any train which the company may run for passenger purposes, and in the present instance, by the use of such a train, the delivery of the mails was effected as early as if a special train had been run at the public expense.