§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether ho can give any approximate estimate of the annual loss incurred by the Post Office on Press telegrams.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON,) Tower Hamlets, Poplar
Careful calculations of the annnal expenditure properly chargeable to Press telegrams are being made, but are not yet completed. But taking the difference between the revenue derived from Press messages, and the estimated annual expenses involved (apart from interest on capital), the loss is considerable and is put at about a quarter of a million sterling.
§ MR. HAROLD COX
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether the rate of 2d. per hundred words for repeat Press messages was originally intended to apply to cases where the same message was: directed to different addresses in the same town, and consequently only involved one electrical transmission; whether the practice has grown up of conceding the same rate to repeat messages handed in at one office, even though; they may have to be telegraphed to a; number of different towns; and, if so, under what authority this extended concession was granted.
§ *MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
It was not the original intention of the Act to limit the 2d. rate in the way suggested by the hon. Member, and there has been no modification of the system of charge. This is made clear not only by the words of the Telegraph Act of 1868, but also by 102 the proceedings of the Select Committee of the House of Commons which considered the Bill. I might add that the practice is opposed to the views of the Post Office as expressed at the time.
§ MR. CHIOZZA MONEY (Paddington, N.)
asked whether the whole of the public did not gain by the cheapness of the Press messages.
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
Are these privileges still to be given to the "Daily Liar "?
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
They are given under an Act of Parliament, and I have no control over the matter unless the House chooses to repeal the Act.