HC Deb 12 May 1887 vol 314 cc1686-8
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 Now 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 POSTMASTER 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 has 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 Liverpool 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.