§ SIR J. W. MACLURE (Lanes, Stretford)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he will inform the House why his Grace the Postmaster General, after numerous communications, commencing in February, 1896, from the Levenshulme Urban District Council, the Heaton Norris Council, and the Corporation of the City of Manchester, has not given a definite reply as to whether he will consent to the removal of telegraph poles by the substitution of underground wires through the district, which is most rapidly increasing in population and house building, and already is practically a continuous line of houses along the road from Heaton Norris to Manchester?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
The Postmaster General very much regrets that amidst the pressure of other business some of the communications addressed to him on this subject have been overlooked, and that the definite replies which ought to have been sent to them were not given at the proper time. He wishes, however, to add that the original application from Levenshulme in August, 1896, was definitely answered; that the only application which would appear to have been received from Heaton Norris, viz., in January, 1897, was also duly answered; and that it is only the later application from Manchester, and the 941 renewed applications from Levenshulme, which have been overlooked. Though some of the applications were not duly answered, careful inquiries have been made in the district as to the possibility of complying with them. In the cases of Levenshulme and Heaton Norris, it is regretted that the expense of putting the wires underground in those districts would not be justified. In the case of Manchester, it is proposed to substitute underground wires as soon as the existing line of telegraph poles needs renewal, probably m two or three years' time.