§ 82. Mr. PETO
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that a charge of 5s. is made for supplying weather reports to the captains of merchant vessels fitted with wireless apparatus approaching our coasts; whether information of this character is supplied free of charge by the Canadian and American authorities; and whether, in the interest of safety of life at sea, he will now issue instructions that these weather reports shall be transmitted free of charge from Marconi wireless stations on the coasts of the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The charge of 5s. referred to by the hon. Member is made to cover the cost of the radiotelegram conveying a weather report to a ship as well as the radiotelegram asking for the 35 information, and this is below the ordinary rates. I understand that radiotelegrams of this character are transmitted at the request of ships without charge from Canadian and American wireless stations, but not elsewhere, and the International Conference which has just concluded its sittings recommended that the ordinary rates should be charged. Radiotelegrams relating to the position of derelicts and other objects dangerous to navigation are transmitted to ships free of charge from British wireless stations, but I am not prepared to furnish weather reports gratuitously.