§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the representative of the Postmaster General, whether representations have reached the Postmaster General that dissatisfaction exists throughout this country at the high rate charged for porterage on telegrams; and also for guarantees that have to be given before telegraph offices are established in the country: whether he is aware that there are 20 telegraph offices within a distance of a quarter of a mile of the Houses of Parliament, London; whether a few of the London telegraph offices could be spared for the country; and, whether he will abolish the telegraph porterage and guarantee charges, so as to place every person in this country, 550 whether near to or distant from a large centre of population, on an equality; and no longer punish a person for living in the country?
§ MR. HANBURY
No such representations have reached the Postmaster General. There are, I am informed, only four public telegraph offices, including the House of Commons Office itself, within a quarter of a mile of the Houses of Parliament. The offices in the Metropolis have been established to meet the requirements of the public, and to close any of them would not facilitate the establishment of telegraph offices in rural districts, The charges for porterage are fixed by statute and only represent the actual charge incurred. The charges for guarantees are required by Treasury regulations. The Postmaster General therefore is unable to abolish either of them.
§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
May I ask if it is intended to introduce a Bill to abolish porterage on telegrams and guarantees?