HC Deb 18 March 1940 vol 358 cc1655-6W
Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Postmaster-General how long it now takes a letter to travel from London to Shanghai and vice versa; what steps he is taking to accelerate the mail service to the Far East; and whether advantage has been taken of the fast service of Italian vessels from Trieste to Shanghai?

Captain Waterhouse

Mails for Shanghai are normally forwarded either via North America or via Suez; but correspondence specially superscribed for transmission by way of Siberia is forwarded by that route. The times of transmission have varied within somewhat wide limits and in the most favourable`conditions are about six weeks, five weeks and four weeks by these routes respectively. The times of transmission in the homeward direction are substantially similar. It is hoped that a better service via Suez may shortly be available. The intermittent sailings of the Italian Line to which my hon. Friend refers, rob it of the advantage of its speed for the conveyance of mails. Any possibility of improving the service will, however, most certainly be examined.