HC Deb 08 March 1906 vol 153 cc610-1

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any arrangements now exist for the conveyance of English mails from Port Said to Cyprus; when did the late mail contract expire; why arrangements were not made by the authorities in Cyprus to provide for a mail service before the late contract expired; and by what means British mails are now sent to Cyprus.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) No contract steamers at present run between Port Said and Cyprus. The late mail contract with the Bell's Asia Minor Steamship Company expired in December last, and no fresh contract has at present been made, because the Legislative Council is opposed to the continuation of the system whereby a portion of the mail subsidy has in recent years been charged to the Locust Destruction Fund. The matter is engaging the further consideration of the Secretary of State. In the meantime mails to Cyprus continue to be sent to Egypt, from where they are forwarded by one or other of the four lines which regularly trade with Cyprus.