HC Deb 27 April 1908 vol 187 cc1028-9
MR. JOWETT (Bradford, W.)

To ask the Postmaster-General whether a Departmental Committee has reported that the existing arrangements of the telegraph service are now inadequate to provide for the increasing hurry and earlier publication of provincial newspapers; whether, as a consequence, the Committee has recommended joint private wires from a London agency to the offices of provincial newspapers, staffed by operators unattached, to the Post Office; whether the Committee considers that there is no general objection to the taking away from the hands of the Postmaster-General of the work of transmitting news from London to the provinces; and whether, in view of the possibility of the Postmaster-General permitting a great extension of the system of sub-contracting in the telegraph service, a Select Committee of this House may be appointed to consider the present position of the telegraph service.

To ask the Postmaster-General whether he is in a position to inform the House if he has completed any arrangements with newspaper proprietors or news agencies for taking over the transmission of news messages in accordance with the recommendations of a Departmental Committee; and whether he proposes to insert in the conditions that all telegraph operators employed in the transmission of messages over wires loaned to private companies by the Post Office shall be paid the same rates of wages as are paid to established postal telegraph operators working in the same town.

(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) I do not know that I can usefully add to the replies which I gave to the hon. Member on the 7th and 20th ultimo, which contain full information on the present position of the question. I may add, however, that I see no reason for appointing a Select Committee to consider the present position of the telegraph service.