HC Deb 20 May 1890 vol 344 c1394
MR. MATHER (Lancashire, S.E., Gorton)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether it is correct, as announced in the Manchester Courier of the 13th instant, that it has been arranged that a motion fixing an international telegraphic tariff at 12½ centimes, or rather more than 1d. a word, shall be brought before the International Telegraphic Conference, which com menced its sitting last week at Paris, and that the motion will have the support of the English Representatives; and if correct, and the Conference should adopt the motion, will he endeavour to arrange with the respective Governments that the same rate of 12½ centimes should also extend to Denmark and Russia, as those countries are not members of the International Telegraphic Congress, and would not be affected by its decision?

*THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES,) University of Cambridge

I do not feel myself at liberty to disclose the proposals which have been brought forward for discussion at the International Telegraph Conference by the Representatives of the Governments; such a course would be unusual. Both Denmark and Russia are members of the International Telegraph Union, and are represented at the Conference; and they will, therefore, be affected by the decisions arrived at. I may mention that the charges for telegrams from this country to Prance, Belgium, Holland, and Germany were only lately reduced to a uniform rate of 2d. per word with a minimum of 10d.; and I may assure the hon. Member that it is certainly my desire that the Representatives of this country should endeavour to bring about such further reductions in other directions as, having regard to the interests of all the parties concerned, seem to be called for.