§ Mr. WATT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Post Office Department suffered a loss of £220,000 per annum by forwarding Press telegrams at a reduced rate; whether he was aware that this money passes into the pockets of newspaper proprietors; and whether he would, in his forthcoming Budget, remove this preference to the Press?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. Although, as my predecessor stated in answer to a question by the hon. Member two years ago, the loss on Press telegrams had been estimated for the year 1905–6 to be £220,000, similar calculations based on figures for the year 1908–9 showed the loss to be £205,000. The rates for Press telegrams were determined by the Telegraph Act, 1868, and any alteration would require an Amendment of that Act. As was stated by my predecessor in the answer to which I have referred, the Government do not intend to propose legislation for that purpose.