HC Deb 18 March 1897 vol 47 c950
MR. A. D. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the Post Office officials will make any separate Return, actual or approximate, of the enormous sums, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, which they have expended in the construction and maintenance of telephone exchanges, and of the amounts earned by the exchanges?


The sum expended upon the construction of telephone exchanges is £107,000, of which about three-fourths has been spent on the exchange at Newcastle, and a large portion of the remainder in Cardiff and the neighbourhood. It is not possible to give either the amounts earned by the telephone exchanges in the hands of the Government or the amounts spent on their maintenance. The telephones and the telegraphs have the same headquarters charges, and the same offices, the same clerks, the same mechanics, the same engineering staff. And even if the accounts of the telephones could be separated, it would not be desirable to furnish information as to the details of our working to the National Telephone Company, who are in competition with the Post Office in the very district concerned.