§ Mr. HARRIS
asked the Postmaster-General why there is not a regular mail service to the Dominion of New Zealand; whether he is aware that it is a common thing for steamers carrying cargo to arrive in the Dominion before the mail carrying documents and bills of lading arrive, with consequent loss to shippers and injury to British trade; whether, owing to the closer proximity of America, he is aware that this irregular mail service is likely to divert trade to the United States of America; why the dates of the mails to New Zealand are often only advertised a day or two before despatch and at the last moment are frequently changed; and 1552W whether he will consider re-establishing a regular fortnightly service of mails between this country and New Zealand in order to encourage British trade?
There is already a regular despatch of mails once a fortnight from this country to New Zealand via Suez. The dates of departure are published in advance each quarter in the Post Office Guide. Additional despatches have recently been arranged by the steamers of the Commonwealth Line. Advantage is also taken of services viâ North America, by way of Vancouver and San Francisco, and also by the Panama Canal route. The vessels on these routes are not under contract to the British Post Office: and it is not practicable to give long notice of the dates of sailing. The information is published, however, in the Post Office Daily List which usually shows at least one week's mails. It is the case that cargo sent by a fast ship proceeding viâ Panama, may arrive in New Zealand in advance of the relative documents if they are posted after the ship conveying the cargo has sailed. The steamer service from the United States to New Zealand is not more regular than that from the United Kingdom, and is less frequent.