§ Considered in Committee:—
Motion made and Question again proposed,
That it is expedient to authorise the issue, out of the Consolidated Fund, of a sum not
exceeding £300,000, for the purposes of the Telegraph Acts, and to authorise the Treasury to borrow such sum by means of terminable annuities, payable out of moneys to be provided by Parliament for the service of the Post Office, and, if those moneys are insufficient, out of the Consolidated Fund:"—(Mr. Hanbury.)
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
asked whether the Post Office authorities had made up their minds that the telephone trunk lines now put down were to be closed at the same hour as the local post-offices. The Telephone Company now kept the trunk lines open, to the great convenience of the public, and it would be a matter of regret, as well as of inconvenience, if, when a public Department took those lines in hand, the convenience to the public should thereby be reduced.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
asked for an explanation of the policy of the Government with regard to the telephone service?
§ MR. HANBURY
said that he had already explained the object of this Resolution on more than one occasion. A million of money had been provided by Bill for the purchase of the Trunk lines and for starting new Trunk lines. That million was not sufficient for the purpose, and therefore this additional sum was required. In reply to the hon. Member for the Northwich Division the right hon. Gentleman said that he would see to the matter to which the hon. Member had directed attention.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork, Mid)
contended that a financial Resolution of this importance ought not to be hurried through the House in the few minutes that remained before midnight.
§ SIR J. BLUNDELL MAPLE (Camberwell, Dulwich)
said that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hanbury) had not explained adequately the action of the Government with respect to the Trunk lines. The Post Office had taken those lines over——
Order, order! Any general discussion such as the hon. Member wishes to raise would be out of order. This Resolution simply allows a Bill to brought in, and when the Bill is 1605 brought in, that will be the proper time to discuss the question.
§ Resolution agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow.