§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER () Belfast, W.
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been called to the unsatisfactory character of the mail service between Belfast and London by the Larneand Stranraer route. Whether it would be possible to arrange for the despatch of mails from Belfast to London by this route so as to allow of the posting of letters in Belfast up to six o'clock. Whether he is aware that the mails by this route almost invariably arrive late in London. And whether he will give a return of the number of occasions in which the Stranraer mail arrived late in London, for the past six months, stating the amount of the delay in each instance.
§ MR. HANBURY
Since the last acceleration of the Irish night mail Holyhead, the route viâ Larne and Strauraer has been of little value for correspondence between Belfast and London, though it is of considerable importance for letters from Belfast and the north of Ireland generally for towns in the northern and Midland counties of England. The hon. Member's proposal has already been considered, but it was found that correspondence for the northern and Midland counties which now arrives in time for the first delivery would sustain serious delay, and that although such an alteration would be of advantage as regards letters for London, almost as many letters for other places would be delayed, and that upon the whole such an alteration would not be considered by the public generally as an improvement. The companies who provide for the service have, however, been strongly urged not only to maintain greater punctuality than in the past, but; also to accelerate the service, and the Postmaster General hopes that it will in this way be possible to meet to some extent the wishes of the merchants of Belfast. A statement shall be sent to the hon. Member showing the delay during the last six months.