§ MR. A. D. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General, on what date the telephone trunk line was opened from Belfast to different towns in England and Wales; how many messages which have been paid for have passed over the line since then; and, if the amount of business done will pay for a profit after providing interest on the capital outlay and meeting all the working expenses?
§ MR. ARNOLD MORLEY
The line was opened to Liverpool, Manchester, and a few other towns on the 1st March. On the assumption that the hon. Member refers to conversations with Belfast alone, I have to say that 16 conversations have been paid for up to the 20th ultimo; but, of course, there have been other messages on the same trunk line. It is too early to judge of the financial 287 result until further time has elapsed and the line has been placed in communication with other lines which are now in course of construction by the Department, and with the trunk lines of the Telephone Company, which will shortly be acquired by the Department.