HC Deb 04 March 1889 vol 333 cc848-9

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is in a position to give any information on the question the working of the submarine cables between this country and Germany, about which a statement was recently made in the Reichstag; and whether arrangements have now been made with France, Belgium, and Holland as regards the working of the submarine cables to those countries?


I am glad to be able to state that the negotiations with the Governments of Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France, which have been in progress for several months past, are now near completion, and I have now every reason to hope that the working and the maintenance of the cables between this country and those named will, after an early date, be entirely in the hands of the telegraphic administrations of five Governments. A uniform rate of 2d. per word, with a minimum, will be charged—a reduction in the case of Germany and Holland of 1d. a word, and in the case of France of ½d. per word. At the same time, negotiations have been proceeding and are well advanced between the Governments of France, Belgium, and this country for acquiring from the Submarine Telegraph Company the cables now their property between England and Belgium and France, and by the Government of this country for the transfer of the officers of the Submarine Company to the service of the Post Office, and the acquisition of the offices, cable ship, stores, &c, by the Post Office.

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