§ MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, if he will state on what day in the week the South African mail is due to be delivered in London; and on what days these mails have been delivered during the last four weeks; and will he say how often the mail has been late in its arrival in London during the months of March and April respectively, and the cause of the delay.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
If the mails from South Africa leave Cape Town at the appointed time—namely at 4 p.m. on Wednesday—they are due at Southampton on Saturday at noon, and should be delivered in London in the course of the same day. The mails due on the 20th and 27th of April, and on the 4th and 11th of May were delivered in London on Monday the 22nd of April, Wednesday the 1st, Friday the 3rd, and Friday the 10th of May. During the months of March and April there were four occasions on which mails failed to arrive on or before Saturday. These were the occasions on which the arrivals took place on the 3rd and 12th of March, the 22nd of April, and the 1st of May. On the first occasion the packet "Carisbrooke Castle" was delayed by a variety† See page 265.1466 of causes including five hours detention by the Cape Government at Cape Town, coaling at Madeira, under quarantine restrictions, and bad weather. On the second the "Kinfauns Castle" was detained at Cape Town by the Colonial Government for twenty four hours and was subsequently delayed by a mishap during a fog in the English Channel. On the third occasion the "Dunottar Castle's" machinery became deranged on the second day after her departure from Cape Town necessitating a reduction of speed and frequent stoppages on her voyage to Madeira. The delay on the fourth occasion arose from the fact that a slow vessel, the "Gaul" had to be used in place of a faster steamer which was prevented from taking her turn through an accident which had occurred on her outward voyage.