§ Sir GEORGE DOUGHTY
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he could state how many coastguard stations have already been closed, and what number it is proposed to close during the present financial year; how many of these stations were connected with the coastal telephone service; whether it is the intention of the Admiralty to discontinue the service; and, if not, what provision is being made for its continuance at such points where coastguard stations have or will be closed?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Sixty-seven coastguard stations and detachments have been closed during the present financial year (1st April, 1908–31st March, 1909), and it is proposed to close nine stations and detachments as from 1st April, 1909. Forty-six of these 76 stations and detachments were connected with the coastal telephone service. The coastal telephone service is not under the control of the Admiralty, but under that of the Postmaster-General. The Admiralty have always allowed telephones on this system to be placed in coastguard stations at places where the Postmaster General considered it desirable, and will continue to do so at the stations which are being maintained. At the 46 places mentioned the Postmaster-General has made what local arrangements he considered desirable.
§ Mr. ROBERT DUNCAN
Does not the Admiralty recognise that they ought to have some discretion and consultation in regard to this matter before telephone stations are abolished?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The telephone service is under the control of the Postmaster General, who is fully competent to deal with it.