§ MR. BAINES
said, He would beg to ask the Postmaster General, If he can inform the House whether the Telegraphs Bill will be prosecuted; and, if so, whether he can state when?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, in reply, that he was afraid he could add nothing to the answer he had given on this subject a few weeks ago. The fact was, the arbitrations between the Government and the various companies as to the sums to be paid for the purchase and compensation were in progress. Some were completed, but the larger number were still incomplete. When the arrangements had made more progress it might be possible to form some estimate of the total sum that would have to be paid, and he would then state what were the intentions of the Government. He might add that notice would be given in the London Gazette to-morrow of the intention of the Government to move for leave to bring in Bill to enable the Government, in the event of their obtaining the property of the telegraph companies, also to obtain a monopoly of the transmission of telegraph messages throughout the country.