HC Deb 01 March 1897 vol 46 cc1331-2

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that the British and Irish mails delivered in New York by the White Star steamer Adriatic on 23rd February were 16 days en route; what was the cause of this delay; and whether the Postal Authorities will put a stop to the practice of dispatching letters by steamers that are notoriously unable to satisfy the requirements of a fast mail service?


No, Sir. The English, Scotch, and Irish mails were embarked on board the packet Adriatic at Queenstown, at twenty minutes to 1 p.m. on the 11th of February; and the Packet arrived in New York at half-past 3 a.m. on the 22nd, thus occupying less than 11 days on the voyage, and not 16 days as the bon. Member suggests. The cause of the delay which did take place was unusually heavy weather. The Adriatic is only used occasionally, when one of the better steamers has to be withdrawn for overhaul. Such withdrawal is expressly provided for in the Mail Contract, and as the Company are fulfilling the terms of their Contract in employing the fastest steamer belonging to them available, the Postmaster General would have no ground for taking the course suggested.