§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that on several occasions since the beginning of November the American mails, made up on Wednesday in London, have not been delivered in New York before the Saturday of the following week, being the same day on which the mails leaving Liverpool on Saturday arrive, so that the advantage of a midweek mail has been lost; and, if so, will he state whether this is in consequence of slow boats being employed for the midweek mails, contrary to the arrangement with the contractors; and, if so, whether he will call their attention to the terms of their contract.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Lord STANLEY,) Lancashire, Westhoughton
On three occasions since the beginning of November mails despatched from London on a Wednesday have not been delivered in New York until Saturday of the following week; but the advantage of a mid-week despatch was not lost, as supposed, as the corresponding Saturday despatch did not reach New York till the Monday on two of those occasions, and ten or twelve hours later than the mid-week mail on the third occasion. The contractors have merely used their right to withdraw their faster steamers for overhaul, and employ slower ones. A provision in the contract enables me, when boats below a certain speed are employed, to send the mails by another route, when there is an advantage to be gained; and it has already been arranged to take advantage of the Southampton route on the 2nd and 9th of March, when the White Star Company will again not have one of their fastest steamers at their disposal.