§ MR. O'DOHERTY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can state the cause of the delay in the establishment of a trunk telephone between Belfast and Londonderry, and whether steps will be taken by the Post Office authorities to compel the Telephone Company to construct forthwith the said trunk line asked for by the public bodies interested in these districts.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Inquiry has been made on several occasions as to the possibility of providing a Post Office trunk telephone line between Belfast and Londonderry. There is, however, no means of doing this without incurring an expenditure altogether out of proportion to the probable amount of traffic on the line. If a local guarantee were given at the usual rate of £5 per mile, a line would be provided by the Postmaster General. No trunk lines have been or can be provided by the National Telephone Company since the purchase of the Company s then existing trunk lines by the Post Office in 1896.