HC Deb 26 February 1895 vol 30 cc1565-6

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware of a memorial or statement issued by the Corporations of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, urging that he should grant telephone licences to Municipal Authorities, and protesting against the creation of a gigantic private monopoly being conferred upon the National Telephone Company; whether he is aware that this protest is supported by almost every Municipal Corporation in Great Britain; whether the negotiations referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer a few days since are with the Municipal Authorities; and whether he is able to state the present position of these negotiations?


I have received memorials from the Corporations of Glasgow, Aberdeen and other towns in Scotland urging either that the Government should itself assume the working of the Telephones, or that licences should be granted to Municipal Authorities. I have also received a deputation representing the Corporations of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen in support of those views and objecting to the monopoly of the National Telephone Company. But I have not received any protest in writing from Scottish Corporations or from Municipal Corporations in Great Britain such as that referred to by the hon. Member. The negotiations referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer simply had reference to an arrangement for discussing the Telephone question prior to the agreement with the Telephone Company being signed, and this opportunity for discussion will I hope be afforded on Friday next on the Motion of the hon. Member for the St. George's Division of the Tower Hamlets.