asked the Postmaster General (1) whether, in view of the fact that prior to the War there was a daily mail service to Harris, Uist, and Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, that during the War the service was reduced to two mails a week, that this was increased to three runs a week six weeks ago, and that now the war service of two mails only in the week has been reverted to, he would state the reasons for this retrograde step so full of menace to the economic life of these islands;955W
(2) whether the mail service to Stornoway and Lewis from the mainland has been reduced from a daily run to three runs a week; whether ho has considered the serious injury and inconvenience to the great fishing industry which this curtailment will effect; and whether, in view of the grave consequences resulting to the trade and industry of the island with its population of 30,000, he will immediately restore the daily service which has been in existence for thirty years?
§ Mr. PEASE
The facts as to the frequency of the steamer services are as stated by the hon. Member. The scale of these services is not determined primarily by postal considerations. If it were so determined, my right hon. Friend regrets that in view of the heavy loss which is already incurred upon the mail service to these islands, he could not ask the Treasury to authorise the additional expenditure in order to increase their frequency.