§ SIR EDWARD SASSOON (Hythe)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the rights now on the point of being ceded to the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company by the Australian Governments materially alter and affect the conditions upon which the Pacific Cable scheme, to which these Governments are signatories, has been based; and that the Canadian Government regard these concessions as likely to defeat and probably 734 to lead to the abandonment of the enterprise; and whether Her Majesty's Government have intimated their acquiescence to the grant of these concessions; and, if not, whether they have addressed any remonstrances to the Australian Governments with the object of inducing them to renounce their intention of infringing the terms of the Pacific Cable scheme.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
The question how the proposed concession to the Eastern Extension Company of the right to open its own offices in the Australian capitals when the Pacific Cable has been laid will affect that scheme has been referred to the Pacific Cable Committee for consideration and report. The hon. Member will see from the correspondence recently laid before the House that Her Majesty's Government have stated that the question of these concessions is one for the Colonial Governments concerned, but they have asked the Governments of New South Wales and Victoria, to defer concluding any agreement with the company until the Cable Committee has reported on the question.