HC Deb 14 May 1907 vol 174 cc793-4
MR. HOLT (Northumberland, Hexham)

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General if his attention has been called to the unsatisfactory character of the French mail service between this country and Hong Kong; and, having regard to the fact that letters for Hong Kong despatched from London to Singapore via Bombay, and posted again in Singapore, reach Hong Kong from three to five days earlier than they would do if posted in London on the same day direct to Hong Kong, he will take steps to forward mails to and from Hong Hong by this route, so as in conjunction with the fortnightly Peninsular and Oriental mail to give an efficient weekly mail service between this country and Hong Kong.


My attention has not been called to anything unsatisfactory in the character of the mail service to Hong Kong by French packet; and there have not been any special complaints on the subject recently. It may be the case that letters for Hong Kong sent to Singapore by British contract packet via Bombay and reposted at Singapore occasionally reach Hong Kong earlier than the mails despatched by French contract packet the same week. This, however, can only occur when the Singapore Post Office happens to be in a position to send a mail to Hong Kong by a steamer leaving Singapore almost immediately after the arrival of the mails from England via Bombay; but the first regular contract packet from Singapore for Hong Kong is the French one. There would, therefore, be no advantage in sending mails to Singapore to wait there two or three days for the French packet by which they might have been sent from Europe. The British packet frequently arrives at Hong Kong ahead of the scheduled time while the French one is occasionally a little late, with the result that the French packet usually arrives ten days after the British one of the preceding week; but it must be borne in mind that correspondence for transmission by French packets can be posted in London at the General Post Office up to 9.30 on Saturday morning, while correspondence for the British packet leaves on Friday evening.