HC Deb 21 March 1898 vol 55 cc408-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been called to the resolution passed by the Limerick Harbour Commissioners, in which they direct the attention of the Parliamentary representatives of Limerick, Clare, and Kerry to the great inconvenience caused to the public by the late arrivals of the mails in Limerick, owing to the refusal of the General Post Office authorities to pay the sum of £3 for a special train from the Junction to Limerick whenever the train from Dublin, is late; and whether the views of the Commissioners in this matter can be met by the Post Office authorities?


The Postmaster General understands that such a resolution as the hon. Member describes was passed at a recent meeting of the Limerick Harbour Commissioners, but the resolution has not yet readied him officially. It is not the case that a grant of £3 on each occasion would set at rest the question of running special trains from Limerick Junction when the morning mail train from Dublin is late. A train from Limerick Junction to Limerick only would cost about that sum, but, if the arrangement which was resorted to temporarily in the winter of 1896–7 were made permanent, the special train from Limerick Junction to Limerick would have to go on as far as Newcastle in order to overtake there the Tralee day mail train, and there must be a second special train from Limerick Junction in the other direction to Waterford, the whole expense on each occasion being no less than £17 7s. So costly an arrangement does not seem to the Postmaster General to be justified. But he is prepared to fix somewhat later hours of departure for the day mail trains in both directions from Limerick Junction with a view to reduce the number of failures, if this would be preferrerd to the maintenance of the existing hours, which are sometimes found to afford an insufficient margin. He has asked the Limerick Harbour Commissioners and others interested for an expression of their views on this point, and he is still waiting their replies before communicating with the Railway Company upon the subject.


About what date will this arrangement come into operation?


That depends on the Commissioners and the time they take to answer.