§ 35. Mr. MULDOON
asked whether, under the present arrangement with the Cunard Company for the conveyance of the American mails, the place for embarkation of the mails, the hour of sailing, the time for posting all over the country, and the amount paid to the company on foot of the contract have been altered, or whether these changes impose new obligations upon the public and the company involving a new contract which it is necessary for the House of Commons to sanction; and whether these facts were laid before the Law Officers when their opinion was obtained?
§ Captain NORTON
As stated in the answer which I gave the hon. Member on-the 16th instant, the only contractual obligation from which the Cunard Company is released by the recent alteration is that of calling at Queenstown. This change does not create a public charge; and the Law Officers of the Crown have advised that in these circumstances ratification by the House of Commons is not 1117 necessary. The alterations in the place of embarkation, hour of sailing, etc., follow from the omission of the Queenstown call, and the necessity for making the best arrangement practicable to meet the change in the circumstances. The payment to the company has been reduced from £68,000 to £65,390 a year, the saving being the amount fixed by the company for the special train and boat service.
§ Mr. MULDOON
I beg to give notice that I shall raise this question on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
§ Captain DONELAN
Can the hon. and gallant Member state why no attempt was made to recover any penalties from the Cunard Company for breach of contract?
§ Captain DONELAN
Will the hon. and gallant Member lay a copy of the statement submitted to the Law Officers of the Crown on the Table?