HC Deb 11 May 1897 vol 49 cc194-5
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, if he can state the hours of arrival and dispatch of the mid-day letters in Cavan and Belturbet respectively; whether he is aware that, whilst I the acceleration of the mails all over Ireland has meant a gain of an hour and a half at least to most Irish towns, it only means about half an hour in county Cavan: and, whether, without incurring the cost of an extra train, the Postmaster General could press the Great Northern Railway Company to start their train at 8.30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. as at present?


At Cavan the hour of the arrival of the mail is 11.5 a.m. and of departure 1.15 p.m. At Belturbet they are 11.35 a.m. and 1.45 p.m. The gain of time for reply at Cavan is 40 minutes, and Belturbet ten minutes. Even if the railway company would agree to start the train from Dundalk at 8.30 a.m. instead of at 9.0 a.m. a further difficulty lies in the fact that the train from Dundalk joines at Clones a train from Belfast which only readies Clones at 10.21 and which the Company cannot see their way to run earlier. Unless, therefore, an additional tram were run beyond Clones, the train from Dundalk must still wait for the Belfast train, and thus no benefit to Cavan and Belturbet or to Enniskillen would arise from an earlier start from Dundalk.


Will the right hon. Gentleman put a further question to the railway company as to the reason why in Cavan they have 40 minutes longer and in Belturbet only 10 minutes?


It depends entirely upon the running of the trains of the Great Northern Railway. They refuse to alter their trains for mail purposes, and the number of letters and postal matters carried is not sufficient to justify additional trains for the purpose.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the manager of the Great Northern Railway laid the blame at the door of the Treasury for not running additional trains.

[No answer was given.]