Mr. C. WASON
asked the Postmaster-General if he will state at what hour His Majesty's mails for Shetland were landed at Berwick on Friday morning, 21st July, and at what hour and on what day the mails for Unst, Yell, and Fetlar were dispatched from Lerwick, and for what reason these mails were delayed in Lerwick from Friday morning until Sunday mid-day before they were dispatched for the North Isles; and if. when the North of Scotland Steam Navigation Company find it inconvenient to send the steamship "Earl of Zetland" to the North Isles, or the vessel is temporarily withdrawn from this trip, or is otherwise engaged owing to the exigencies of trade, he will arrange that His Majesty's mails for Unst, Yell, and Fetlar be dispatched from Lerwick at the earliest possible moment overland, or by other means of transit, to their destination?
§ Mr. J. PEASE
The Shetland mails were landed at Lerwick at 5 a.m. on Friday, the 2tst of July, but could not be dispatched by the steamship "Earl of Zetland" to the North Isles until Sunday, the 23rd July, because the steamer, which had proceeded to the Orkneys on the 19th July, was delayed first by labour troubles there and subsequently by fog on the return journey. A special dispatch overland to the North Isles would have involved considerable expense, which was not considered to be justifiable. But for the fog the "Earl of Zetland" would have returned in time to sail for the North Isles on the Friday afternoon. The question of dispatching the mails overland would be considered on any occasion when it was certain that they could not be dispatched by steamer within a reasonable time of their arrival at Lerwick.