§ MR. CAMERON
asked the Postmaster General, Whether his attention has been called to the want of sufficient postal accommodation between the Hebrides and the mainland of Scotland; whether 317 he does not think it expedient to regulate the postal service so that the mails may be conveyed to and from Loch Maddy three times a week, wind and weather permitting, in winter as in summer, and so to alter the present arrangements as to insure letters being delivered in Glasgow or Edinburgh in less than eleven days from the date of their being posted in Loch Maddy; and, whether it is intended that the district of the West Highlands shall participate in the advantages of the Telegraph Act 1868, and the Acts amending and extending the same; and, if so, when telegraphic communication may be expected to be established with the head post offices of Fort Augustus and Fort William?
§ MR. MONSELL
, in reply, said, the hon. Member was inaccurate in stating that 11 days were occupied in transmitting letters from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Loch Maddy. Letters leaving the latter place on Wednesday morning reached Edinburgh or Glasgow on Saturday; but letters from Loch Maddy, despatched on Friday, did not reach their destination until Tuesday, the mails being delayed on their way during Sunday. The postal revenue from this service was less than half the cost. He admitted the present arrangements were not entirely satisfactory. A full inquiry would be made into the matter, which he hoped would lead to a satisfactory alteration. The Department had had great difficulties to contend with in reference to telegraphic communication; but it had succeeded in doubling the number of stations, and adding from 12,000 to 15,000 miles of wire. He hoped that by the end of May telegraphic communication would be established to Fort Augustus.