§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
asked the Postmaster-General whether he will now state the result of his negotiations with the Great Southern and Western Railway Company with reference to expediting the transit of the mails between Amiens Street and Kingsbridge; whether he has drawn the attention of the directors of that company to the statement made by their then chairman at the meeting of the company on the 15th February, 1896, when the question of the acquisition and construc- 1138W tion of the Drumcondra link line, which afterwards cost the company £400,000, was being discussed, that its construction would enable the company to ran the distance from Kingstown to Inchicore in little more than half the time then occupied, and also to the chairman's statement to the shareholders on the 8th August, 1893, when he made the same observation, and added that the time consumed between Kingstown and Kings-bridge was most preposterous, and that when the link line was constructed nearly half an hour would be saved; and whether the company has offered any explanation of the fact that the expenditure of the sum mentioned has not produced any acceleration of the journey?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
As regards the first question, my right hon. Friend understands that the object of the hon Member is to obtain an earlier arrival at Cork of the train which brings the incoming night mails from Holyhead, viâ Kingstown, Amiens Street, and Kings-bridge. After communicating with all the railway companies concerned, he is assured that this object cannot be attained without incurring additional cost, which would be unjustifiable, especially in present circumstances. The omission of the stop at Westland Row has been suggested, in order to save time between-Kingstown and Kingsbridge, but that would retard the delivery of letters in some important Dublin districts. As regards the second and third questions, I must refer the hon. Member to the answer given to his question of the 21st December, 1916, in which I explained that it does not come within the province of the Postmaster-General to criticise a railway company's expenditure.
§ Mr. M. HEALY
asked the Postmaster-General if he will circulate a statement showing for each day in December, January, February, and March the extent to which the night mail to Ireland was late in arriving at Holyhead and Kingstown, and also showing the delay each day between the arrival at and departure from Kingstown and the arrival at and departure from Kingsbridge?