HC Deb 09 March 1896 vol 38 cc432-3

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether in view of the fact that the sum of £25,000 was placed at the disposal of the Postmaster General for the establishment of telegraph offices in the United Kingdom for the year 1894–5, and that out of this sum only £1,662 was devoted to the establishment of telegraph offices in the six Highland Counties of Inverness, Argyllshire, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, and Orkney and Shetland, he will consider the advisability of expending on telegraph extensions in the Highlands a larger proportion of the money to be allocated to the Postmaster General this year?


If the Vote for Telegraph Extensions in the United Kingdom were to be equally divided among the counties, the share of any six counties would be about £1,300. But if it were to be divided between the different counties according to their population, the share of the six Highland counties mentioned by the hon. Member would be less than £240. These six counties have, therefore, had nearly seven times their share of the Vote, and do not seem to have any claim to a larger proportion of the money to be expended, and as I informed the hon. Member in answer to a Question on the 3rd instant, besides the £1,662 devoted to the establishment of Telegraph Offices in the Highlands, two offices were opened at a cost of £200 in connection with the coast communication scheme, and two at a cost of £359 out of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (Grant in aid of Public Works and communications, &c., Vote).