HC Deb 15 June 1868 vol 192 c1564

said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Board of Trade, When the Return relating to Electric Telegraphs ordered by this House on the 21st April will be presented; and what is the cause of the delay in preparing this Return, and the annual Returns relating to Railway Companies?


said, in reply, that it would be impossible to say when the Return relating to Electric Telegraphs would be presented. Notwithstanding a second circular, the required information had not been received from the London, and North-Western, London and South-Western, Midland, Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire, Great Northern, Great Western, Caledonian, and other railway companies. It was evident that without particulars from these large railway companies the Return would be so incomplete as to be entirely useless. A similar Answer must be given to the second part of the hon. Member's Question. The delay in presenting the compiled annual Returns of the Railway Department was due to the failure of the companies to send in the particulars earlier. These particulars were compiled daily as they arrived at the Board of Trade; so that as soon as the last details were received the compiled Return was ready for presentation, allowing a few days for computing the totals. It was generally also in type at the same time ready for printing. Last year no less than five reminders were sent out before the whole of the Returns were made.