HL Deb 28 April 1856 vol 141 cc1591-3

said, he wished to put two questions to the noble Duke the Postmaster General; first, whether there was any prospect of steamers of greater size and power than those at present employed being established during the next summer between Holyhead and Kingstown? and secondly, whether it was the intention of Government to establish steam-packets between Portpatrick and Donaghadee? Under the present arrangements, letters which came from England by the night mail were seldom delivered in Dublin earlier than Twelve o'clock in the day. He also remarked that the use of larger and more powerful steam-boats would tend to prevent accidents. With regard to the subject of his other question, he urged it on account of the increasing traffic between Scotland and the north of Ireland.


said, that great attention had been given to the object of accelerating the communication between England and Ireland by the noble Viscount who preceded him in the office of Postmaster General (Viscount Canning), and although no definite arrangement had yet been come to for the acceleration of the Irish mails, yet the Post Office, the Trea- sury, and the Admiralty, which were the departments concerned in it, had agreed as to the conditions which it would be necessary to lay down for the better and more efficient postal service between this country and Ireland. He could not indeed state that the improved arrangements would be carried into effect this summer, but he had hopes that it would be done shortly. Several proposals had been made, which would be perhaps convenient to Dublin, but would not be so convenient to the more distant provinces of Ireland. He thought, however, that some deputations which had lately come to the Government on the subject had been satisfied with the representations that were made to them by Mr. Wilson, the Secretary to the Treasury. One of the conditions laid down by the Government was, that the passage between the London terminus and the Dublin terminus should not exceed eleven hours. As for the other question of the noble Lord, there was no measure in contemplation of the Government for establishing steam-boats between Portpatrick and Donaghadee.


expressed his satisfaction at the statement of the noble Duke, but urged him to bear in mind that if sufficient attention were not paid to the convenience of passengers, the arrangement would result in a very considerable loss to the Government. He wished to remind the noble Duke that when the late Sir Robert Peel was in office, a very large and influential meeting of Irishmen and Welshmen unanimously recommended that there should be only one postal communication between England and Ireland, provided it received the support of the Government, and that all the other communications should be given up. The Government did patronise and assist that one communication; and upon an understanding that the recommendation he had mentioned would be adhered to, the Holy-head railway was undertaken, and a new packet system adopted between the two countries.


said, that two communications had, in fact, existed between the two countries ever since the establishment of the present railway system; and it was impossible to give up the communication between the northern ports of England and Ireland.


also deprecated any arrangement by which only one line of communication would be established, and urged the expediency of establishing a line of communication with Waterford and the South of Ireland.