HC Deb 07 May 1896 vol 40 cc746-7
MR. J. F. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the negotiations with the Canadian Government with respect to the establishment of a fast steamship service between England and Canada have been completed; what are the conditions of tendering, and what is the latest date on which tenders will be received; will provision be made for the carriage of Australian and New Zealand mails by this route in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian-Australian line of steamers now running between Vancouver and Sydney; and, whether there will be a stipulation requiring the steamers employed in this new service to call at an Irish port?


The Imperial and Canadian Governments have recently been in communication on the subject of the tenders about to be invited for this service, but it can scarcely be said that the negotiations are completed. I explained to the hon. Member for Canterbury on March 9th that Her Majesty's Government would not be in a position to decide what amount of assistance they would be justified in affording until the cost of the service has been more fully ascertained. The Canadian Government have now advertised for tenders for a weekly service to be performed by steamers with an average speed of not less than 20 knots an hour. Printed forms giving the conditions of tender in detail may be obtained at the office of the High Commissioner for Canada. Tenders are to be sent in by the 10th of next month. If the proposed service is established, any mails for Australia and New Zealand which can with advantage be sent viâ Canada will, no doubt, be so forwarded. The conditions of tender stipulate that the steamships shall call at an Irish port if required to do so.