§ MR. ASCROFT (Oldham)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether his attention has been called to the great inconvenience suffered by the In inhabitants of Oldham through the great length of time that it takes to transmit a telegraphic message to that town; whether he has been informed that during the last month a message handed in at Fallowfield at 5.8 only reached s Oldham at 5.41; that a message handed in at Worcester at 1.0 only reached Old-ham at 3.45; that a message handed in at the Crystal Palace at 4.57 only reached; Oldham at 5.29; whilst one handed in at the Crystal Palace on the 9th instant at 12.30 only reached Oldham at 5.9 the same evening, the time taken being over 4½ hours for a distance under 200 miles; 603 and, whether he will take steps to improve the telegraphic communication with Oldham.
§ MR. HANBURY
The Postmaster-General is not aware of any general complaint in regard to delay in the transmission of telegrams to Oldham. The telegram of the 9th instant was accidentally overlooked at the Crystal Palace. The Postmaster-General regrets any in convenience to which this may have given rise, and has taken suitable notice of the want of care displayed by his officers. The other telegrams referred to in the question have not been traced, but if the honourable Member will furnish the dates on which they were handed in and the names of the senders or addressees, enquiry shall be made and the result communicated to him. The telegraphic communication with Oldham has recently come under review, and there does not at present appear to be sufficient reason for putting up fresh lines or altering the present circuit arrangements, but the matter shall be kept in view in case there should be any fresh development.