§ Sir I. PENNEFATHER
asked the Postmaster-General (1) the total payments by the British, Indian and Ceylon Governments, respectively, during the last financial year for the carriage of all mails both ways between Marseilles and Bombay, between Marseilles and Colombo, and between Toulon and Colombo;
(2) the various routes by which mails are conveyed between England and New Zealand; the normal transit time by each route; and the sums paid by the British and New Zealand Governments, respectively, during the last financial year for the carriage of mails by all routes;1939W
(3) the total sums paid by the British and Australian Governments, respectively, during the last financial year for the conveyance of mails between Marseilles and Fremantle, between Toulon and Fremantle, and between London and Sydney, via America; and what were the actual average times occupied last year in the carriage of the mails between London and the above-named Australian ports?
§ Viscount WOLMER
I am unable to state what payments have been made by the Post Offices of India, Ceylon, Australia and New Zealand in the last financial year for the services referred to by the hon. Member. As regards British services, an inclusive annual payment of £295,000 is made to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company for the Eastern Mail Service which includes not only the sections Marseilles-Bombay, Marseilles-Colombo and Marseilles-Fremantle, but also the conveyance of mails by sea from London and the mail services to Egypt, Palestine, Aden, East Africa (with transhipment), the Straits Settlements and China, and the carriage of New Zealand mails despatched via Australia, and the contract does not assign a figure of cost to any particular section of the service. Similarly on the North Atlantic service the conveyance to New York of the mails for New Zealand sent via North America is covered by the annual payments for the contract services of the White Star and Cunard Lines. Apart from the contract payments referred to, the actual outpayments on the services during the last financial year amounted to approximately £36,000. The routes used for the mails for New Zealand and the average times of transit are:
To New Zealand: Days. Via Canada … 31–32 Via U.S.A … 31–34 Via Panama … 36–44 Via Suez … 39–40 London—Fremantle: Via Toulon or Marseilles … 26 London—Sydney: Via Toulon or Marseilles … 31 Via San Francisco … 34–35