§ SIR THOMAS DEWAR
To ask the Postmaster-General if he will state the value of the contracts given to British and 82 foreign firms respectively, during the last five years, for plant required in connection with the London telephone service, and the nature of such plant.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) The value of the contracts placed with British and foreign firms respectively for plant required in connection with the London telephone service could not be given without an analysis involving much time, labour, and expense. Since 1st April, 1902,orders amounting to about £109,000 have been issued for the equipment of exchanges in London. These exchanges are worked on the central battery system, and most of the orders had to be given to a foreign firm who held numerous patents for such apparatus. The circumstances are gradually altering, and 1 hope it will before long be possible to obtain telephones for the use of subscribers from British makers only.