HC Deb 17 May 1904 vol 135 c35
MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

To ask the Postmaster-General what steps have been taken to give effect to any of the recommendations made in the Report of the Eastern Mail Service Committee.

(Answered by Lord Stanley.) I have already arranged with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company to continue their present service for three years after the expiration of the current contract on 31st of January, 1905, but with an acceleration of 24 hours on every section of it both in the outward and homeward direction. For this increase of speed the Company will receive an addition of £10,000 a year to their annual subsidy of £330,000, and during the three years for which this arrangement is to remain in force it will be ascertained whether further improvements can be obtained by open tender. But I have also procured from the Peninsular and Oriental Company the option of prolonging the arrangement for two or four additional years if circumstances should at any time make a further extension desirable. If the prolongation is made for two years only the subsidy for the whole period of five years will be £330,000, but if the arrangement is maintained for seven years in all the subsidy for the whole period will be at the rate of £315,000 a year.