§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether, before entering into any contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the carriage of mails to Canada, he will give an opportunity to Irish Members to discuss it; whether he is aware that the Canadian Pacific Railway runs for a considerable distance through American territory and cannot therefore be described as all-British; is he aware that the Grand Trunk Pacific, which runs wholly through British territory, will in less than two years have a port at Prince Rupert, on the Pacific Coast, and that this port will be 500 miles nearer to Hong Kong than the present terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway; and will he postpone entering into any arrangement with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company until such time as the Grand Trunk Pacific, which will be a faster and cheaper route, are in a position to tender for the contract.
§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)
May I also ask the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the importance of the matter to Ireland, he will ensure that that this House shall have an opportunity of discussing any new proposals as to the carriage of mails to Canada, or to other countries via Canada, or any proposals of the Government of this country with reference to what is known as the all-red route.
§ MR. HOGAN (Tipperary, N.)
I wish also to ask the Postmaster - General whether, before entering into any contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the carriage of mails, he will give an opportunity to representatives from Ireland to discuss the terms of it.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON,) Tower Hamlets, Popla
A mail contract of this description has to be ratified by the House. As regards the particular contract in question it is a continuation for three years of an existing contract at a greatly reduced payment. 1661 If a route more advantageous than that of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company should hereafter become available, its adoption will not be precluded by the proposed contract with that company.