§ MAJOR JAMESON (Clare, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, if he is aware the letters are carried by mail car from Ennis to Kilkee, a distance of 35 miles, although both places have been connected by train for the past four years, with the result that letters which should be delivered at 8.30 a.m. are often not delivered until 1 p.m; is he aware that the reason the letters are sent by mail cart is because the Post Office authorities will not pay a reasonable sum for the carrying of the mails to the West Clare Railway; and if he is prepared to advise a reasonable subsidy being paid to the railway company for carrying the mails to secure an efficient postal service for West Clare?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
The letters are carried by mail car from Ennis to Kilkee, although there is now a railway between the two places. The car is due at Kilkee at 10.5 a.m., and it is very seldom that the delivery has been later that 12 noon, even when there has been loss of time on the railway before the mails reach Ennis. The first train does not arrive at Kilkee till 11.45 a.m. The letters are sent by car because the Postmaster General has not seen his way to pay the company the sum which they have asked for the establishment of suitable trains. The demand of the company may have been reasonable from their point of view, but it was more than the Postmaster General, with a due regard for the Revenue, was warranted in giving. There is now reason to believe that the company are prepared to accept lower terms and the matter is being further inquired into.
§ MR. D. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, if he is aware that great inconvenience is caused to merchants and traders in Irish towns by the partial delivery of the mails on Bank Holidays; and, if he will arrange that for the future the deliveries on those days, particularly Whit Monday and the first Monday in August, will be the same as on the ordinary business days of the week, the letter carriers to be compensated for the increased work?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Postmaster General is not aware that great inconvenience arises from the arrangement referred to by the hon. Member. The arrangement, which is one of long standing, is common to the whole of the United Kingdom, and experience has shown that it meets with the almost universal approbation of the public. In these circumstances the Postmaster General cannot accede to the request of the hon. Member.