§ MR. LEA
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the mail from South Africa arrives and is delivered three or four hours after the departure of the English mail for the Cape, thus entailing the delay of a whole week in answering letters; whether he can bring pressure to bear on the Union Castle Line to start their mail boats a couple of days earlier from Cape Town; and, if this is impossible, will he stipulate that this should be done when next concluding a contract with that company for the transport of the British mails homeward.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
The mail service with the Cape Colony is performed by the Union Castle Steamship Company under a contract with the Cape Government which extends to the year 1910. There is already only one day's interval between the arrival of the outward mail at Cape Town and the despatch of the homeward mail; and it would be difficult to interfere with the existing arrangements without inconvenience. On the approach of the termination of the present contract the question will receive consideration. I should add that on 859 thirty occasions during the past twelve months it has been possible to arrange for the correspondence from the Cape to be delivered in London on Saturday morning in time for replies to be despatched by the out-going mail.