§ 83. Lieut-Commander ASTBURY
asked the Postmaster-General if he will explain why, notwithstanding the written assurance given to the president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce some three weeks ago that cable repairs had been effected, and that improvement might soon be confidently expected, the delays in telegrams to and from the Far East and other overseas markets are still as serious as ever, three weeks out and home being still repeatedly occupied for a cabled question and answer?
§ 89. Sir OWEN PHILIPPS
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the delay in the cable facilities between Far Eastern ports and this country which has been experienced by business firms during the past months, and that cable messages occupy a minimum of six days in arriving and sometimes occupy nine or ten days in transmission: and whether he is in a position to take any effective steps to accelerate the transmission of cablegrams so as to relieve a state of affairs prejudicial to British business interests in the Far East?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
Since the commencement of last month the delay on outward full-rate telegrams for Egypt, 1398 India, and the Far East has been reduced by about a day, the time occupied in transmission being now as follows:
In the case of full-rate telegrams in the homeward direction there has been no improvement, the time of transmission ranging from five to seven days. This is due to the larger volume of the homeward traffic and to the continued interruption of an important cable in the Mediterranean. I am assured, however, that every possible effort is being made to restore this cable, and that its repair may be expected at an early date. As regards the improvement in the service to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Acton (Sir H. Brittain) on the 3rd instant.
Egypt … 2 days India … 4 days Straits Settlement … 4 days China … 6 days
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
In view of Peace having been signed, can any assistance be given to merchants by a wireless code?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
Yes, there is, in fact, a scheme which I hope will be carried out before long to extend the wireless very considerably.