§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the sum of £7,600,000 has already been paid from postal revenue for interest on the £10,000,000 originally borrowed by the Government for the purchase of the telegraphs in 1870; and whether he can explain what measures are being taken to pay off the purchase money, and to relieve the telegraph service from the burden of the interest upon it?
§ MR. HANBURY
NO sums have been paid out of either postal or telegraph revenue for interest on the stock created for the purchase of the telegraphs. That stock has been treated as part of 1517 the general debt of the country, and the interest is included in the provision made for the debt charge. In the years 1870 and 1871 stock amounting to £67,600 was purchased out of the surplus balance on telegraph revenue and cancelled; but, as there has been no surplus since that date, no measures, other than those applicable to the rest of the National Debt, are being taken to pay off the telegraph debt.