HC Deb 08 August 1871 vol 208 cc1086-7

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he has seen a report of the proceedings of the Grand Jury of the county of Cork, which states that that body required that the Surveyors of the county should be paid by the Post Office department for inspecting the poles on which Telegraph Wires had been erected, in consequence of which Mr. Yates, who represented the Post Office authorities, stated "that the gentlemen who came to that decision may look on the extension of Telegraphy in the county of Cork as closed;" and if such report is correct; and, if it is, had the Grand Jury the right to pass such a resolution; and, whether they had or not, what action does he intend to take in the matter?


Sir, the Grand Jury of Cork have decided, apparently in opposition to the opinion of their foreman and of a considerable minority of the Grand Jury, that their surveyors should inspect our telegraphs on the common roads in the county of Cork. We hold that this inspection by their surveyors is altogether unnecessary either for the public service or for the protection of the public. The Grand Jury have also decided that we shall pay for the inspection which we do not want, and which we hold to be unnecessary. As a matter of course, and as their foreman stated after they had passed the resolution, their resolution must be regarded merely as an expression of opinion on their part, and is not in any way binding on the Department. We shall not recognize the necessity for an inspection of our lines by their surveyors, and we shall not agree to pay their surveyors anything for the work which we do not require to be done. The consent of the Grand Jury to the erection of telegraph lines on the common roads in Cork is required; and if in future we require to obtain this consent, we shall apply to the Grand Jury for it. If they do not give us the consent, on them, and not on us, will rest any blame that may accrue from the non-erection of the telegraph lines which we desire to erect. Up to the present time we have their consent for the erection of all the lines that we at this moment contemplate erecting. It rests with the Grand Jury of Cork to say whether the extension of the telegraphs in the county of Cork beyond the limits at present contemplated by the Department shall or shall not be made; and, as it is for the benefit of the county of Cork and not for the benefit of the Government that these extensions are projected, we cannot doubt for one moment that the consent of the Grand Jury will be given when it is asked for.

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