HC Deb 29 November 1916 vol 88 cc369-70W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that dissatisfaction exists in the western parts of the county of Limerick owing to the fact that for a considerable time past the mails have been carried by car, with the result that in bad weather there is no security of their delivery in proper time, and also owing to the fact that there are oftentimes two days' delay in the English mails; and, having regard to these facts and in the public interest, will he try and come to an agreement with the Great Southern and Western Railway Company for the delivery of the mails rather than continue the present methods?


I will have inquiry made, and will communicate with the hon. Member.


asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that letters arriving in Enniskillen from Great Britain at 10.5 a.m. are not now delivered until after 2.p.m.; and will he have the former arrangement restored by which such letters were delivered at 10.30 am., enabling replies to be sent by the mail train leaving Enniskillen at 1.30 p.m.?


I am having inquiries made into the matter, and will communicate with the hon. Member.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the Irish mails which arrive at Euston sorted and ready for delivery about the hour of 6 a.m. do not reach the addressees for a matter of at least five hours later; that the delay, which in the case of letters for the City causes dislocation of business, is attributed by the Post Once officials to a shortage of postmen; whether he will take steps to employ sufficient workers; and, if there is any shortage of civilians, will he consider the question of employing wounded or discharged soldiers who may be fit for such work to deal with the mails, in whatever capacity, so as to ensure delivery of letters at a reasonable hour?


Correspondence received from Ireland by the mail train which reaches Euston in the early morning should not suffer delay in delivery when the train arrives punctually at 6 a.m. The train is frequently late, however, in present circumstances, and the correspondence then falls into the second delivery, commencing at about 10.15 a.m. in the City. I regret that it is not practicable to arrange for an earlier second delivery. The policy of employing wounded and discharged soldiers as opportunity occurs is already in operation.


asked the Postmaster-General whether the contract with the Great Southern and Western Railway Company for the conveyance of the mails is for a fixed period; if so, will he say when it will next expire; whether he can state the average sum which this company gets from the Post Office for carrying the mails; and whether he will represent to the company that, in view of the subsidy which they receive from the Post Office, they might now accelerate the run of the mail trains between Cork and Dublin, the time for which was fixed twenty-four years ago, when their engines were not so powerful or their road-bed so good?


The original term of this contract—ten years—has expired, and it is now terminable by six months' notice on either side. I will ascertain the amount actually paid to the company for conveyance of mails during the last financial year and will furnish the figure to the hon. Member. As stated in reply to other questions, I am in communication with all the companies concerned in Ireland, and in my communication to this company I have made inquiry as to the possibility of a reduction of running time without additional remuneration to the company.


asked the Postmaster-General if he can now state the result of his promised communications with the Great Southern and Western Railway Company with regard to the improvement of the morning mail service between Kingstown and Kingsbridge Station; and whether the railway company were able to offer any adequate explanation of the fact that this mail train takes thirty-one minutes to run the six and a half miles between Westland Road Station and Kingsbridge?


I am still in communication with the companies concerned.