§ MR. MACFARLANE (Argyll)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General if there are no exceptions to the Post Office Regulation, which requires a guarantee of the whole cost of the establishment of a new telegraph office; and whether, in the case where there is a large but poor population, such as the Island of Luing, in Argyllshire, he could accept a guarantee amounting to £35, that being the maximum sum they have been able to subscribe amongst a population numbering 800?
§ MR. A. MORLEY
In reply to the hon. Member, I have to say that a guarantee for a new telegraph office is never required where it is estimated that there will be sufficient revenue to cover the expenses. Even where it appeared that there would not be sufficient revenue, telegraph offices have been established in a few cases where Imperial considerations justified Her Majesty's Government in setting aside the Regulations which have been laid down for the guidance of my Department. For instance, in the last financial year, the telegraph was extended to certain remote places in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland without guarantee out of money provided for the purpose in the Vote for the Fishery Board for Scotland. In the absence of any special provision, I regret that I am unable to extend the telegraph to Luing, 1185 in Argyllshire, except under a guarantee of £60 a year, as I have already informed the hon. Member; and I think it has been explained that this does not mean that £60 a year would have to be contributed by the guarantors, but merely that the difference between the actual receipts and that sum would have to be made good. Thus, if the actual receipts in any year were £25, the guarantors would only have to pay at the end of that year £35.
§ MR. MACFARLANE
Seeing that this is a district with a very poor population, could not the Regulation be modified in this case?
§ MR. A. MORLEY
was understood to reply in the negative, and to suggest that application should be made to the Secretary for Scotland.