§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether it is the fact that two new telephone cables and land lines are about to be constructed between Paris and London; could he state what is the estimated cost, and in what proportion will the expenditure and profit be shared by the Governments of the two countries; whether any provision has been made in the Estimates just passed; and, if not, when the Vote for the money necessary will be submitted to Parliament for the construction of the telephones referred to; and, whether any reduction in the present high tariff of 8s. for three minutes' conversation is contemplated?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Governments of the two countries are agreed that at least one submarine cable for telephonic and telegraphic purposes ought to be laid; and the land lines to serve this cable are in course of construction. The question of a second cable is still under consideration. As a contract for the construction of the first cable has not been made, it would not be convenient to give an estimate of the cost. The expenditure on the cable and the receipts for the whole service will be shared equally between the two countries. Provision for the land lines and cable has been made partly in the Votes of the last financial year and partly in those of the current year. No reduction in the charge for telephonic conversations with Paris is contemplated.