§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
asked the Postmaster-General whether a set of fire-bars, weighing seven pounds, was posted from Scotland to Mr. W. Cunningham, Coleraine, on 14th August last, in the same wrapping as had on many previous occasions ensured the safe arrival of similar parcels, and arrived broken; whether a set to replace, forwarded three days later and similarly packed, also arrived broken; whether a third set, forwarded on 21st August and specially packed, arrived broken; whether the Department has offered to compensate for the third set, but refuses payment for the first two sets, and on what grounds; and whether he is aware that numerous sets, packed as the first two were, are now being forwarded by steamer and railway and are being safely delivered?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Three sets of cast-iron bars were, as stated, sent from Scotland to Mr. Cunningham, of Coleraine, and all three sets were broken. The first two sets were protected by brown paper only, the last set by straw rope as well. For the last set the Post Office accepted liability. Claims in respect of the first two sets were refused because the Post Office has, as a result of experience, long been forced to class cast-iron articles, which are generally brittle, as not sufficiently protected whether sent in bags or baskets unless well wrapped in some soft material. My inquiries go to show that many of the railway companies find it necessary to protect themselves either by extra rates for light iron castings or by carrying at sender's risk only. I understand that similar articles are being forwarded by other carrying agencies, but I do not know how they are packed, upon what terms they are 843W accepted, and with what degree of safety they are conveyed. I am endeavouring to take some special steps in the matter, as the traffic appears to be considerable.