HC Deb 08 August 1899 vol 76 c162
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, if it is possible to lay before Parliament any agreements and correspondence between the Government of India on the one side, the Eastern Telegraph Company, the Indo-European Telegraph Company, and the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, or any of them on the other part, relating to the establishment or subsequent modifications of a joint-purse agreement for dealing with international telegrams and settlement of accounts between the parties to the joint-purse agreement. What is the actual cost at which the Indian Government transmit telegrams over their lines from Karachi to Bushire and Fao. And, what transit rate under the existing joint-purse system the Indian Government would charge over the same portion of their lines for messages to or from England handed to them by any British company not represented in the joint-purse agreement.


It would be necessary to obtain the consent of several companies mentioned before the agreements referring to the joint-purse arrangements could be made public, and I am therefore at present unable to undertake to lay Papers on the Table. The transit rates over the Indian Government cables between Karachi and Bushire or Fao are as follows:—On messages exchanged with India—between Karachi and Bushire 1.455f; between Karachi and Fao, 1.905f. on messages exchanged with countries beyond India—between Karachi and Bushire, 1.09f; between Karachi and Fao, 1.39f. These rates are laid down in the International Telegraph Convention, and are the same for all classes of messages, whether handed over by any English company belonging to the joint-purse agreement or by any other company or foreign Government Administration. The rates can only be altered with the consent of the States interested who are parties to the International Convention.