HC Deb 21 June 1906 vol 159 cc368-9
MR. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.)

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General if, in view of the fact that under present arrangements, delays frequently take place in the arrival of the Indian mails in this country, through much time being lost between Port Said and Brindisi, he will in the next contract, whilst imposing a penalty for delay beyond contract time, offer a reward for earlier delivery, so that it may be to the interest of the steamship company to make good time rather than to slow down in order to save coal; and also whether he will in the new contract of next year stipulate for an accelerated mail service between Bombay and Brindisi so as to give delivery in London early on Friday, in order that urgent correspondence may be answered on the same day.


I do not think it would be advisable to offer premiums for arrivals in advance of the time fixed by the mail contract, since it is more important to obtain a regular service at a high rate of speed than to encourage special rapidity on particular voyages, with resulting irregularity in the time of arrival. Future arrangements for the Indian Mail service will depend to a large extent on the replies to the invitations to tender issued not long ago; and I am not now prepared to commit myself in any way as to the duration of the transit.