§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, in order to allay the anxiety of thousands of families in this country who have relatives at the war in South Africa, he will open negotiations with the directors of the Eastern Telegraph Company and its allies for sending messages and replies (prepaid) by telegraph not exceeding ten words at a total cost of half a guinea, or even a guinea; and whether he will represent to the cable companies that the concessions they have already made in this direction for the soldiers would be greatly enhanced if arrangements for these social or family messages were embodied in a reply message of the kind indicated at a fixed charge.
§ * MR. WYNDHAM
; The Eastern Telegraph Company recently of their own accord reduced the charges for telegrams from four to two shillings a word, and the Secretary of State for War is not prepared to call upon the company for any further concession. I ought to add that the number of telegrams is already so great as to lead to frequent blocks on the line.