HC Deb 17 May 1900 vol 83 cc417-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if he would state the total amount paid during 1898–9 to the Eastern, Eastern Extension, Indo-European, and other associated cable companies for messages sent and received on Government service by the Foreign, Colonial, Indian, War, Admiralty, and other Government offices.


There is no official knowledge, except in the case of the India Office, of the amount of charges on telegrams sent abroad over these lines to Government departments in this country during 1898–9. The charges on telegrams handed by the Post Office to these companies amounted to £21,976. This includes charges which the companies would have to pay out to various administrations for terminal and transit charges, but it does not include telegrams handed in direct to the companies and not through the Post Office. The War Office paid £3,016 19s. 1d. direct to the companies in 1898–9 and the India Office £5,777 11s. 1d., while the payments to India for Government messages home (including transit) are estimated at about £29,000. The Colonial Office and Admiralty never pay anything direct to the company. I have no figures available as to direct payments from other Government departments, but excepting the Foreign Office, they are presumably of relatively little importance.