asked the Postmaster General, When the account for the last financial year of the receipts and expenditure of the Post Office Telegraph Service, prepared on commercial principles, will be published; whether, in the meantime, he could give the House any estimate of the amount which it will probably show under the head of "Balance of Profit;" and, whether he can state the increase in the number of messages sent last year as compared with the year previous?
§ MR. FAWCETT
The question of introducing some modifications into the form in which the telegraph account, made up on commercial principles, has hitherto been presented to Parliament, is now being considered by the Treasury; and this may cause some delay in the presentation of the account. By the end of next month it will be possible to give an estimate of the balance of profit for the past financial year. In reply to the latter part of my hon. Friend's Question, I may state that the number of messages sent last year was 32,732,000, being an increase of 640,000 over the previous year. The increase in that year over the preceding year was 746,000.
asked the Postmaster General, How much of the money voted by Parliament for expenditure during last financial year on postal telegraph works, necessitated by the contemplated introduction of sixpenny telegrams, was actually expended; how many "learners" 279 were added to the telegraph staff in anticipation of the increased work; and, whether they have been retained on the staff, or dismissed?
§ MR. FAWCETT
About £180,000 was expended in the last financial year on works necessitated by the contemplated introduction of a reduced rate for telegrams, and the works will be available when the new tariff is brought into operation. The staff was not increased anywhere in anticipation of the reduced tariff; but a few learners were taken on in various offices to be trained, and there is no intention of dismissing them.