§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General if ins attention has been called to the fact that under the Transatlantic Combine the midweek mail to New York has been carried for several weeks since the beginning of 1903 by the "Cedric," "Celtic," and "Cymric," vessels which cannot steam from Kingstown to New York in seven 1118 days even in the finest weather, so that it has been impossible of late to send replies by the steamer leaving New York on Saturday to letters which left by these boats on Wednesday in the previous week; and whether he will take steps to ensure that the conditions of the contract with the White Star Company shall be fulfilled as in previous years.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, Worcestershire, E.)
I am aware that the three vessels mentioned have been employed in the mail service to New York when none of the faster steamers of the White Star Line have been available. I am assured that their use was due solely to the fact that the "Majestic" and "Teutonic" had been withdrawn for purposes of overhauling. The hon. Member will be glad to learn that it is the Company's intention to have their fastest steamers regularly running on the mail service after the 15th of this month. In ordinary conditions of weather, letters sent by the "Celtic" and "Cedric," sister ships, should be delivered at New York in time to admit of replies being sent by the Saturday mail.