§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether his attention has been directed to the age of Messrs. Macbrayne's mail steamers "Glencoe" and "Gael," running between Kyle and Stornoway; does he propose to take steps to require Messrs. Macbrayne to carry His Majesty's mails in steamers of modern type; and will penalties be enforced against the firm when their mail steamers fail to keep time.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The "Glencoe" is not employed on the mail service to Stornoway. The hon. Member probably refers to the "Glendale" which has recently been performing the service. I understand that the "Glendale," was built in 1875, and the "Gael" in 1867, and that the latter steamer was fitted with new engines and boilers in 1892. Both of these steamers fulfil the requirements of the mail contract; and in view of the heavy loss already incurred in connection with this service, I cannot promise to take any stops in the direction indicated. I have given directions that in cases where time is lost without any 1236 satisfactory explanation, the question of imposing a penalty shall always be considered.