§ MR. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he has observed in The Standard of Thursday, the 17th instant, a despatch from Berlin stating that the cable from Australia to New Caledonia, constructed by a French Company, is the first section of a cable service from Australia to America viâ Samoa and Honolulu, and that the German Imperial Post Office has expressed its readiness to grant a subsidy towards the construction of the Samoan connection; whether he has any information that would throw light on this alleged intention to construct a complete cable service under foreign management and control between Australia and America; and whether any steps have been, or are being, taken to give effect to the strongly-expressed wishes of the Australian and Canadian Delegates to the Imperial Conference held in London in 1887 in favour of the construction of a Pacific cable under British management and control?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. A. Morley,) Nottingham, E.
The answer to the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question is "Yes"; but I have no official information which bears out the statement. As to the second paragraph, the agreement which has been entered into by the French Government with a Company for a cable from Queensland to New Caledonia has been published, and I shall be glad to let the hon. Member see a copy if he wishes. I am not aware of any steps having been taken to lay a cable under British management and control; but I ought to add that, as subsidies to Submarine Cable Companies are not borne on the Vote for the Post Office, the question is not one under my special control.