§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that statistics of 1130 the telephone business transacted between France and England can be obtained from the French Government; will he explain why these statistics cannot be furnished to the House of Commons; and, whether he could reduce the cost of conversation between France and England from 8s. to 2s. 6d. for three minutes without loss to the revenue?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Postmaster General is not prepared to grant these statistics, as he is of opinion that the telegraphic business of the State must be dealt with as a whole, and that it would be misleading to give statistics relating to only a part of the business. The Postmaster General does not see his way to reduce the cost of conversation between France and England from 8s. to 2s. 6d. for three minutes. I take this opportunity of stating that, in his question on Tuesday, the fault of saying 3s. in place of 8s. was not the hon. Member for Canterbury's, but was due to a printer's error. The reduction of charge, in the Postmaster General's judgment, would necessarily lead to a loss of revenue from the telephone, which, during many hours of the day, is already fully occupied. ["Hear!"]