§ 30. Sir ROBERT LYNN
asked the Postmaster-General whether mails from England are now sent to Belfast via Holyhead and via Stranraer; and whether he can state the times when the letters from these two services are sent out for delivery in Belfast?
§ 31. Captain STREATFEILD
asked the Postmaster-General whether the Northern Ireland mail service has now been transferred from the Stranraer-Larne route to the Holyhead-Kingstown route; whether any improvement in the service has resulted; and whether his Department has experienced any reduction in the working costs?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir William Mitchell-Thomson)
I will answer these questions together. The principal mails between England and Northern Ireland other than the Belfast district have always been conveyed by the Holyhead route. The bulk of the mails to and from Belfast and the surrounding district, which have in recent years been forwarded by the Stranraer route, are now also sent via Holyhead. Those from certain parts of the North of England are still sent via Stranraer. Letters from England by whichever route received are now delivered in Belfast approximately 25 minutes earlier—the delivery commencing about 10.50 a.m. In the reverse direction the delivery in London by the Holyhead route is about two hours earlier. There has been no material alteration in Post Office expenditure.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a letter which was sent to me in Ulster about a month ago by the Holyhead route has not yet come to hand?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
But I wish to ask the Minister, Mr. Speaker, whether he does not think it desirable that the mails of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should be kept under the control of the British Post Office, so that these unfortunate occurrences may not arise?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
My hon. Friend is aware, no doubt, that the 202 diversion of the route via Holyhead, or, rather, the reversion to that route, was made at the request of the Government of Northern Ireland.
§ Sir R. LYNN
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in very many cases, usually on four or five days a week, mails coming from Ulster are not delivered with the first delivery in London?
§ Sir R. THOMAS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is not the fault of the Holyhead route at all, and that the reason for non-delivery in this case was because the hon. Member was away from home?