§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
To ask the Postmaster-General if he can say how many and of what nature were the complaints he received from the Belfast Evening Telegraph in reference to the transmission of press telegrams within the last three months; whether he is aware that copy having reference to the Budget of last week, and handed in at London, took two hours and a half to reach Belfast, with the result that an incomplete Report had to be published in the Belfast evening paper; and if he will make inquiries whether the cause is due not o any lack of zeal on the part of the officials at Belfast but to the fact that the staff is under-manned, especially in the afternoon when pressure is the highest.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) Complaints have been received from the Belfast Evening Telegraph respecting the transmission of press telegrams. There was, unfortunately, some delay on the Budget night to press telegrams to Ireland, owing not only to the great pressure of work but also to partial failure of several important wires. As regards the Belfast office itself the whole of the report appears to have been dealt with expeditiously, and I have no reason to think that the stag at that office is insufficient.