39. Dr. MURRAY
asked the Postmaster-General in what year the daily mail ser vice all the year round was first instituted between Stornoway and the main- 1900 land; what was the gross revenue from all Post Office services from the Island of Lewis for the year previous; and what was the gross postal revenue from Lewis for the years 1913 and 1919, respectively, calculated on the basis of the present rate of postal and telegraph charges?
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Pike Pease)
A daily service (Sundays excluded) throughout the year was started in December, 1887. The gross amount of the takings for all kinds of Post Office services from the Post Offices in the Island of Lewis for the years 1886, 1913, and 1919 are not available, nor, I think, would they be relevant to the question at issue. The most useful figures with which I can supply my hon. and gallant Friend are these. In July, 1887, the cost of serving Stornoway and the district dependent upon it was estimated at £2,955 a year, and the revenue from the postal traffic concerned was estimated at £921. The corresponding figures now are roughly estimated at £18,000 and £7,500. In other words, the excess of expenditure in respect of sea conveyance to and from Lewis, and purely postal services within the island, over the revenue from postal traffic, is now about five times as great as it was in 1886.
Is not the revenue from this district five times what it was before; and as the contract is in the pool with the rest of the West of Scotland, how can the hon. Gentleman say what is the cost of this service?