HC Deb 03 March 1904 vol 131 cc44-5

To ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the recent report of the National Telephone Company in which the chairman states that they are working in partnership with the Post Office; if so, whether he will state when the present partnership with the National Telephone Company expires, and what are the arrangements made for taking over their business; and whether, in view of the increasing business of the National Telephone Company, he will endeavour to expedite the completion of the new Post Office system.

(Answered by Lord Stanley.) The statement made by the chairman of the National Telephone Company had reference, probably, to the arrangement made in 1901 for free intercommunication between the exchange systems of the Post Office and the company in London. This arrangement has proved to be a great convenience to the large body of telephone users in the London area. It will continue until the termination of the company's licence. The company are bound at the expiration of the licence to sell to the Post Office their plant in the London area at a valuation on what are known as "tramway" terms. As soon as funds have been provided under the Bill which I hope shortly to obtain leave to introduce, the development of the London telephone service by the Post Office will be expedited as much as possible.