HC Deb 21 July 1913 vol 55 cc1683-4

asked the Postmaster-General, if, having now ascertained that the mail contractors have paid no compensation to the families of the three persons who lost their lives conveying His Majesty's mails between the island of Whalsay and the mainland of Shetland; and if he will, as principal employer, take into consideration the justice of paying adequate compensation and giving such instruction as will obviate dangerous crossings by small boats and instruct the contractor to convey the mails by steamer?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

I would refer the hon. Member to my answers to similar questions on the 4th and 9th June. I would add that ray information is not that compensation has been applied for and refused by the contractors, but that it has not been applied for. In any case I cannot admit that 1 was the "principal employer." The crossing cannot be regarded as dangerous if my information is correct that no similar accident has occurred for 130 years. The use of a boat in place of the regular steamer cannot be dispensed with on certain occasions, without injury to the main packet service, but these occasions are very few, only about two a year at the time when the steamer is withdrawn for annual survey.