HC Deb 21 March 1912 vol 35 cc2063-4

asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the fact that, notwithstanding his agreement with the National Telephone Company to pay interest on the unpaid purchase money for the company's property taken over by him, certain preference capital of the company, amounting to nearly three and a-half millions sterling, is being deprived of any interest pending the payment of the purchase money by him owing to the form of the company's articles of association; and whether he will be willing to make such further payment on account as will enable the claims of the holders of such capital to be satisfied, or, in the alternative, will he promote a Bill in Parliament to enable him to make further payment on account to the company?


The agreement to pay interest on the unpaid purchase money will be carried out, and a further instalment of the purchase money could be paid by means of annuities or Exchequer Bonds if an award on account can be obtained from the Railway and Canal Commissioners; but I am unable to say how the company's articles of association would affect the distribution of such instalment by the liquidator. I am not prepared to introduce legislation to deal with the matter.


asked the Postmaster-General whether the frequent practice of the National Telephone Company of making attachments of telephone wires to private buildings and of running wires over private grounds without the owners' consent is being continued by the Post Office telephone officers; and, if so, whether he will give instructions for the practice to be discontinued?


The Postmaster-General has certain statutory rights of flying wires over private property, but he has no power to make attachments to private buildings without consent. I believe the rights and obligations are well understood by the engineering staff, and I shall be glad to inquire into any case of which the hon. Member can give me particulars.