HC Deb 26 February 1900 vol 79 c1090

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that foreign Governments prohibit the publication of the routes followed by their submarine cables, as, for example, in one of the agreements (specification as to manufacture of cable) between the Société Géné rate des Télégraphes Sous-marins and the French Government in reference to the cable between New Caledonia and Queensland; whether our own submarine cable lines are shown on the Admiralty charts, as, for instance, on those of Lisbon, Sierra Leone, and Delagoa Bay; and whether he will consider if it might be better in future cases to omit British cables, and to indicate them only, according to the practice of foreign Governments, on special private charts to be supplied to the commanders of men-of-war.


The right hon. Baronet is under a misapprehension in thinking that telegraph cables are never marked on foreign charts. The same principle appears to govern the action of foreign Governments in this respect as has guided Admiralty action—namely, that whore there is more chance of interruption from ships anchoring over the cables than there is any advantage to be gained in Avar by attempting to conceal the position of the cables they are shown on the plans or charts of approaches to ports. On the plans mentioned in the question the cables are shown for the above reason. The action suggested in the last paragraph has already been taken for such stations as it appears desirable.