§ MRARTHUE MOORE (Londonderry)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, could he state how often the mails from England have missed the connection at Limerick Junction during the last two weeks; on how many occasions has this been due to the London and North-Western train being late arriving at Holy head; on how many occasions this delay has been owing to the company attempting to carry a large number of passengers, and duplicating their trains; what powers have the Post Office to compel the company to keep time; and whether they will put these powers in force, and not allow the mail service to be disorganised by the exigencies of transit traffic.
§ MR. HANBURY
The mails from England have missed the connection at Limerick Junction seven times during the last two weeks. On six of these occasions the failure has been altogether due to the London and North-Western train being late in arriving at Holyhead. On the other occasion there was fog at sea in addition to delay in arriving at Holyhead. On six occasions the delay appears to have been owing to the company duplicating their trains. There are no penalty clauses in the contract, but the Postmaster-General can, in case of a serious breach of the contract, sue the company upon the bond contained in the contract, or put an end to the contract. It is only fair, however, to the company to say that their difficulties arise largely from their having yielded to the pressure brought to bear upon them to carry third class passengers by the Irish mail trains. The duplication of the train appears absolutely necessary if passengers are not to be left behind, and when the train is duplicated, a large amount of delay is unavoidable, owing to the fact that the first train must be unloaded and drawn off the pier at Holyhead before the second train can get alongside the boat.