HC Deb 21 April 1914 vol 61 cc752-4

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the statement made on 14th July, 1913, by his predecessor that, under certain conditions, the second three stations of the Imperial Wireless Chain might be transferred from the original contractors to others whose system may be proved to be more efficient or more economical, he can say whether, in the case of the second three stations, the Marconi Company are going to employ the Goldschmidt system, which they have recently bought, or their own for these stations?


I am unable at present to give the information required by the hon. Member, as the specifications for the wireless apparatus at the Imperial stations have not yet been settled.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs who were the British delegates at the Conference upon international wireless time signals, held in Paris in October, 1912, upon the invitation of the French Bureau des Longitudes; if he will state or alternatively lay upon the Table of the House a copy of the Instructions given by the Government to such delegates; and whether they were to the effect that no co-operation in the scheme could then or thereafter be afforded by Great Britain or her Oversea Dominions?


The British delegates were: The Astronomer Royal; Captain J. F. Parry, Royal Navy, Assistant Hydrographer; the Director of the Meteorological Office; and Commander A. E. Silverton, Royal Navy, of His Majesty's ship "Vernon." No Instructions were issued to the delegates.


asked whether, as the result of the International Conference on wireless time signals which took place in Paris in October, 1912, and which was attended by four delegates appointed by His Majesty's Government, and of the establishment of an executive body known as the Bureau Internationale de l'Heure, with headquarters in Paris, a preliminary list of high-power wireless stations organised to transmit time signals at slated hours has been issued; whether, although this list contains stations in every other part of the world, it contains no station in any part of the British Empire; and whether, with one-fifth of the world's territory under British rule and in view of the preponderance of British shipping interests, the Government will consider the desirability of hearty co-operation with other nations in perfecting the international wireless time signal scheme discussed at and approved by the Conference?


I am informed that the Conference which met in Paris in October, 1912, drew up a list of thirteen stations which they expected to be ready on the 1st July, 1913, to act as centres for sending out time signals. None of these were British stations. The British delegates at the Conference made certain recommendations for the establishment of time signals at wireless stations in the Dominions and Colonies which would have the effect of greatly increasing the value of the scheme, and I understand that these recommendations have been brought to the notice of the Governments concerned. I would suggest that any further question on this point might be addressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the non-establishment of any station throughout the British. Empire indicates that the Government disapproves of the scheme for establishing such stations?