§ Mr. HORNER
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that in 1897 the Treasury entered into a contract with the London and North Western Railway Company, granting a subsidy of £5,150 to accelerate the Irish night mail trains by half an hour; is he aware that during the month of October the down night Irish mail train on no occasion reached Holyhead pier at the schedule time; that on one occasion it was over an hour late, and on two others nearly an hour, the average daily lateness being seventeen minutes, part of which was due to the detention of the train at Holyhead station on account 1305W of the Greenore traffic; and will he continue to allow them to receive the subsidy paid for the accelerated service whilst they thus ignore the terms upon which it was agreed to be granted?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The statement in the first part of the question correctly represents the fact. As regards the second, the train in question arrived to time on two occasions in October, and was but one minute late on another. As regards the third, two of the three delays quoted were due to fog, and the third to the late arrival of trains for which the Irish train has to wait in the interests of the mail service. The average daily late running was fifteen minutes, and the average daily detention at Holyhead station was one minute. As regard the fourth, I do not think that the company ignores its obligations. The representations which I made last month have resulted in a running to time this month on nine out of nineteen occasions, and an average daily late running of four minutes only.