HC Deb 09 May 1887 vol 314 cc1274-5
MR. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he is aware that Liverpool merchants and brokers at present send telegrams from Liverpool to Bremen and Havre viâ New York, because they thereby save from one and a-half to two hours of the time ordinarily occupied by telegrams passing over the direct Government line and Submarine Telegraph Company's cable, and that the increased expense and delay is a serious impediment to business; and, whether he can now state that any steps Have been taken to remedy this in accordance with the terms of the letter from the General Post Office, of 1st February 1887, to the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce?

THE POST MASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

Since the hon. Member's question was placed on the Notice Paper, I have ascertained upon inquiry that the Commercial Cable Company have accepted from merchants in Liverpool messages for Havre, and that such messages have been paid for at the tariff from England to America and from America to France. This practice is contrary to the agreement between the Department and the Company, and is not followed by any other American Cable Company. The average time taken in the transmission of messages between Havre and Liver- pool is Under an hour; and there would, therefore, appear to be some mistake in supposing that the saving can be as stated in the hon. Member's Question. I am informed by the American Telegraph Companies that they have no knowledge of messages for Bremen having been sent over their lines. The whole question of the telegraphic communication between England and the neighbouring continental countries is at the present time receiving my earnest consideration.