HC Deb 24 July 1899 vol 75 cc80-1

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, at whose instance and for what reasons the Manchester Post Office recently gave sudden notice to the Lancashire evening papers limiting the despatch of telegrams relating to the test cricket match at Old Trafford to private messages; why the intimation was held back until almost the eleventh hour, thus subjecting the press to great inconvenience; and why the messages could not have been received at the nearest telegraph office instead of having to be sent three miles to the General Post Office in Manchester; and whether a similar intimation has been given with respect to the great golf match at Ganton, nine miles from Scarborough, where, contrary to previous usage, the Post Office refused to put up instruments on the ground.


The notice referred to was given in pursuance of instructions from headquarters. The reason for limiting the despatch of telegrams from the Old Trafford Cricket Ground last week to private messages was that the telegraphic facilities at the cricket ground office were inadequate to admit of the press work being telegraphed from the ground, there being only one wire. The Department does not itself provide extensions of the wires to cricket grounds, etc., but requires those on whose behalf such extensions are made to defray the cost and provide suitable office accommodation. Intimation that press-work could not be dealt with at the cricket ground was given to the principal news agencies as soon as the final decision of the cricket ground committee not to increase the number of wires was known, and at once to any reporters who gave notice of their intention to report the match. The press-work could not be dealt with at any telegraph office nearer to the cricket ground than the head office, as no office nearer to I the ground had sufficient facilities for the purpose. In the case of Ganton, to which the hon. Member also refers, no offer has been made to the Department to provide office accommodation on the golf ground, or to defray the cost of extending the telegraph wires. There has been no such refusal as that referred to.