HC Deb 01 July 1897 vol 50 cc867-9
MR. T. R. BUCHANAN (Aberdeenshire, E.)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate why the Provosts of all Burghs in Scotland were not invited to the Presentation of the Municipal Address to the Queen on 23rd June; and, in view of the dissatisfaction caused by these omissions, will the Government secure that the Jubilee medals to be issued to Mayors and Provosts shall be sent to all Provosts in Scotland without distinction?


In considering who should be invited to the Municipal. Presentation to Her Majesty on June 23rd, the precedents of 1872 and 1887 were followed, with this addition, that the Provosts of the Police Burghs having a population of 5,000 and upwards were included in the invitation. The second part of the hon. Member's Question deals with a matter which does not come within the discretion of the Government.

MR. T. B. BOLITHO (Cornwall, St. Ives)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether Jubilee medals will be distributed to the chairmen of urban district councils, having regard to the fact that such chairmen often preside over much larger interests than do many of the mayors on whom the medals will be conferred?


I am sorry that I am quite unable to reply to the Question of the hon. Member, which appeared on the Paper this morning. I have nothing to do with the Jubilee arrangements, and have no information upon the point in question.


I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that, on Wednesday 30th June, the officials at post offices in London declined to forward telegrams to ships in the Fleet at Spithead, unless upon payment of the sum of 25s. whether he will state what are the arrangements of the Post Office for the dispatch of telegrams by boats to ships, and whether these arrangements are permanent or whether they are subject to any increase of charge on special occasions that the boatmen may choose to impose; and whether the regulations as to boat hire will be re-considered, with a view to securing the public against arbitrary and exorbitant overcharges?


The Postmaster General is not aware that the officials declined to forward telegrams to ships in the Fleet at Spithead unless upon a payment of 25s. Telegrams for the Fleet were delivered without charge three times a day by means of torpedo boats, and the post offices in London and elsewhere were duly made acquainted with this arrangement. It was only when the sender required his telegrams to be specially delivered that he was asked for a deposit of 25s. Every endeavour was to be made at Portsmouth to deliver such telegrams as cheaply as possible, and any unexpected balance was to be returned to the sender. The arrangements at ordinary times are to pay a uniform charge of moderate amount which is duly notified to all post offices; but on such an occasion as the review of the Fleet, the demand for boats is so great that it is impossible to procure the delivery of telegrams for the usual charge, and the Postmaster General fears it will not be possible for him to provide by regulations against the imposition of a higher charge when the demand is so much in excess of the supply.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Members of this House who handed in telegrams for the Fleet were not informed of the arrangement, but the 25s. was demanded of them absolutely without condition?


All I can say is that the information ought to have been given to everybody.

SIR CAMERON GULL (Devon, Barnstaple)

I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he can now state the total number of persons who were on board the Campania at the Naval Review?


In consequence of the questions addressed to me on Tuesday, I caused the following telegram to be sent to the Admiralty Transport officer, who was on board the Campania:: — Question in Parliament this afternoon states 1,800 persons were on board Campania at Naval Review. Admiralty limited number of guests to 1,600, and company were informed only holders of Admiralty tickets should be allowed on board. Can you explain the discrepancy? I have received the following reply:— In reply to telegram Cunard Company say there were no more than 1,600 persons on board Campania, and these were all holders of Admiralty tickets except 30, including members of Press and directors who were associated with the company.