§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been drawn by Liverpool cotton merchants to the serious delay which occurs in communicating by I cable with the United States, after ordinary business hours in Liverpool and Manchester, but during business hours in New York, owing to the refusal of the Postal authorities to allow the cable companies to telephone direct to their clients messages received, or to allow the 93 latter to telephone direct to the cable companies messages for transmission by cable; whether he is aware that the delay involved in sending such messages through the Post Office frequently leads to the loss of business, which is diverted to the Continent, or elsewhere; whether the Postal authorities refuse to allow such direct communication between subscribers within the same telephone area, because they hold that telephone messages in connection with cablegrams should be charged for as inland telegrams, whether the merchants concerned have offered to be registered as parties to whom cablegrams may be telephoned by the cable companies, and to pay for all such messages sent or received by telephone, as if they were telegrams, as well as a registration fee, if required; and whether he will recommend the acceptance of this offer, or endeavour to make some other arrangement whereby the rights of the Post Office may be safeguarded without detriment to business requirements.
§ MR. HANBURY
The company naturally cannot be allowed to intercept a telegraphic message on its way to the person to whom it is addressed. The Postmaster General, however, will give further consideration to the question, and endeavour to make some arrangements which will meet the difficulty now experienced in the transmission of such messages.
§ MR. HANBURY
Primâ facie, so far as I can see, there would be no objection to merchants telephoning to the secretary of the cable company asking him to send on messages. But the whole question is being reconsidered.