§ MR. FLAVIN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can state the amount of money paid to the Waterford and Limerick Railway Company for the carriage of mails between Limerick and Tralee; what are the conditions of the existing contract as regards duration and determination, etc.; whether the mail subsidy is based on the train mileage or actual mileage of the railway; whether the line between Limerick and Tralee is treated differently in the matter of subsidy to the section between Limerick and Waterford, especially considering the demands of the Post Office upon the former, and the great inconvenience caused thereby to persons travelling at most inconvenient hours; and whether he is aware that the ratepayers of the counties of Limerick and Kerry, who are annually called upon to make up the deficit in the earnings of the railway to pay a fixed dividend for a period of years, are treated in a totally different manner (as compared with other lines) in the matter of remuneration for carrying the mails?
§ MR. HANBURY
The amount paid to the Waterford and Limerick Railway Company for the carriage of mails between Limerick and Tralee is £1,500 a year. The contract for the mail service on this line can be determined by notice of six months. The mail subsidy is not based on the train mileage or the actual mileage of the railway, but is a sum agreed upon, after negotiation, between the Railway Company and the Post Office. The line between Limerick and Tralee is treated in the matter of subsidy on principles which are applied to all lines in similar circumstances. The amount of the subsidy is smaller than that paid for the section between Waterford and Limerick, but the mails are smaller, and would not justify a payment greatly in excess of what was formerly paid for road conveyance. Such a payment has, in the past, proved sufficient to induce the company to run their trains at hours which suited alike the passengers and the mails. The Postmaster General is not prepared to admit that the line is treated on different principles 606 from other lines in similar circumstances in the matter of remuneration for carrying the mails.
§ MR. FLAVIN
Am I correct in saying that this company only receives 8d. per rail mile, as against 1s. 9d. paid to other companies?
§ MR. FLAVIN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the L. and N.W. Railway Company to—