§ Mr. STEWART
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he is aware that the irregular and slow postal service to China is causing inconvenience to British residents in that country, and that steamers often arrive before the shipping documents, whereby difficulty and delay in the 923W handling and delivery of cargo is caused; if he is aware that the arrival of letters posted viâ the United States and Canada is very uncertain, and that there are often prolonged delays between the arrival of succeeding mails; and whether he can take any action in the matter;
(2) whether the pre-War weekly mail service to China formerly provided by the Peninsular and Oriental Company and the Messageries Maritime Company on alternate weeks has been restored, or is soon likely to be restored?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
Improvements in the mail service viâ Suez have enabled me to provide a better service to China. The mails are now being sent out by P. & 0. packet viâ India each week, except when there is a through service to China viâ Canada connecting with an express steamer on the Pacific, and they are now arriving more regularly, as well as in shorter time. There is no immediate prospect of a direct weekly service to China by the two lines mentioned; but the mails for China are already being conveyed regularly each week as far as Singapore, viâ Bombay and Negapatam, and communication between Singapore and Hong Kong and Shanghai is frequent.