MR. PHILIPPS (Pembroke)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether the attention of the Postmaster-General has been called to the frequent late delivery of letters in Pembrokeshire owing to the late running of the mail trains; and whether he would consider the advisability of introducing a Bill in Parliament giving the Post Office authorities power to run mail trains on all railways in cases where the arrangements of the companies are in their opinion inadequate?
§ MR. HANBURY
Owing to the late running of the Great Western night mail train from London, the delivery of letters in Pembrokeshire is not always effected at the appointed times. On some occasions the delay has been due either to accident on the railway or to some other exceptional and unavoidable cause. The working of this train is also dependent upon the running of other trains bringing mails for South Wales, with which connections are formed at various junctions, and in view of the inconvenience which a failure of connection involves a limited detention is sometimes necessary in order to save these connections. There has, however, been loss of time which there is reason to think might with better arrangements have been prevented. The Railway Company were a short time ago urged to take measures for improving the working of the train, and greater punctuality has recently been observed. The Postmaster-General has already power to call upon railway companies to run trains for the Mail Service at hours which he may appoint, and the trains on the Great Western main lines are of this character. If passenger traffic were excluded and the trains made special for the Mail Service, the cost would be very largely increased, while the service would still be liable to occasional irregularity from the causes already mentioned.