HC Deb 26 April 1909 vol 4 cc21-2

asked the Postmaster-General if he has received a memorial from the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Liverpool, and also signed by the chairmen of the shipowners' associations and those of the principal merchants' associations, requesting the Government in the public interest to allow the two fast steamers "Mauretania" and "Lusitania" to proceed direct to New York, avoiding the delay at Queenstown, in order that the mails leaving Liverpool on Saturday may be delivered in New York on the Thursday following; and whether he will give favourable consideration to the matter?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Sydney Buxton)

I have received the memorial to which my hon. Friend refers, and I have answered it in the sense of my reply to the question addressed to me on this subject on the 21st instant by the hon. Member for East Northants.


Is it not the case that if the loss of time at Queenstown were avoided the mails would be delivered in New York at the latest by the first delivery on Friday instead of during the day on Friday as at present; and would not the mails for other parts of the United States, by the omission of the delay at Queenstown, be delivered 12 hours sooner than under the present arrangement?


That I cannot answer at present. If the hon. Member will refresh his memory with the answer he will see that the real difficulty is this: that if we adopt the suggestion in the question it will involve an entire loss on this side except at Liverpool, and one or two places near.


Is it not the case that the City of London is almost half closed on Saturdays for business, and that the sending of the mails on Friday—


On a point of order, may I ask if such questions are allowed whether we will be allowed to answer them by other argumentative questions?


I think the Postmaster-General will give a sufficient answer.