HC Deb 08 June 1899 vol 72 cc658-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the extraordinary length of time taken in the transit of the following telegraphic messages to Oldham, between the 3rd and 18th of May: From Manchester, 48 minutes; Eastbourne, 2 hours 2 minutes and 2 hours 12 minutes; Crystal Palace, 2 hours 17 minutes: London, 2 hours 14 minutes; Cambridge, 3 hours 4 minutes; Kennington Oval, 2 hours 4 minutes; Bath, 2 hours 4 minutes; Worcester, 2 hours 11 minutes; House of Commons, I hour 40 minutes; and Liverpool, 1 hour 19 minutes; and whether there is any intention on the part of the postal authorities to give a through wire to Oldham from London, or in some other way remove the cause for the constant complaints that are made by supplying an efficient and effective telegraphic service.


My hon. friend communicated with the Postmaster-General on the 24th ultimo respecting the delay sustained by the telegrams in question. The various cases are being investigated, and as soon as the inquiry is completed an explanation will be furnished to him. In regard to the question of a wire from London to Oldham, I fear I can only refer him to the answer given on the 15th ultimo.


I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether he can give any explanation why a telegraphic message sent from London on the 31st May to Messrs. Bradbury and Co., of Oldham, took over one hour before it arrived at the Oldham Post-office: whether he is aware that the systematic neglect of the postal authorities to grapple with the delay in transmitting messages to Oldham is resulting in considerable loss to the constituency; and whether, if the postal authorities cannot remedy the evil without going to the expense of a separate wire, it is intended to do What is necessary in the interests of the public.


The Postmaster-General is unable to find any trace of the message to which the hon. Member refers, but if he will furnish him with the necessary particulars inquiry will be made. The Postmaster-General is not aware that there is any general delay in the transmission of Oldham telegrams. The cases to which the hon. Member has drawn attention are of an exceptional nature. The matter is, however, being kept under review, and every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary delay.