HC Deb 11 July 1910 vol 19 cc152-3W

asked what is the annual subsidy paid by the British Government to the Cunard Steamship Company; for what special services is it paid, and for what period is it payable; and if any portion of this subsidy is recouped by Foreign Governments in consideration of the more rapid route for the carriage of their mails afforded by these subsidised British ships?


The annual subsidy paid to the Cunard Steamship Company out of the Post Office Vote is £68,000. The main service performed in respect of this subsidy is the conveyance of letter and parcel mails by the weekly mail ships from Liverpool and Queenstown to New York. The company is also required, subject to certain reservations, to convey, without additional payment, letter and parcel mails from this country to the United States and parcel mails from New York to Queenstown and Liverpool by any steamships of the company performing the service for their own purposes. The contract was twenty years, terminating on 15th November, 1927. A total sum of about £10,000 per annum is recouped from foreign and Colonial administrations, but it cannot be stated how much of this is in consideration of the more rapid service afforded by the ships in question. The annual subsidy paid to the Cunard Steamship Company out of Navy Votes is £150,000 (namely, £75,000 each in respect of the "Mauretania" and "Lusitania." In consideration of this payment the company is bound during the term of the agreement to hold all their vessels at the disposal of His Majesty's Government to be hired or purchased upon certain conditions. The agreement is for twenty years from 16th November, 1907.