§ MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, having regard to the fact that telegraphic communication between this country and the West Indies is slow, circuitous, and excessively costly, and is liable to interruption in consequence of the disturbed condition of the Island of Cuba, which the wire crosses, whether representations have reached him as to the necessity of a more efficient system, both for the purpose of Imperial defence and the improvement of commercial communication between the British West Indies and Great Britain; whether there are any constructive difficulties which would impose obstacles to laying a cable which should be under British control; whether any such scheme is under consideration; and, whether he can hold out any hope of its being carried into effect at an early date?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I have received communications from the West 1529 Indian Colonies representing the importance of establishing improved telegraphic communication between this country and those colonies for the purpose of Imperial defence as well as for commercial purposes. I have no reason to think that there are any insuperable constructive difficulties in effecting such communication. Proposals on the subject are under consideration, and I hope that they may result in a cable being laid at no distant date.