HC Deb 09 March 1926 vol 192 cc2089-90

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that there are nearly a dozen distilleries in the island of Islay which collect for the Treasury several millions of revenue per annum; and whether, as it would greatly facilitate the conduct of the business of these distilleries if telephone communication was established with Islay, to and from which such shipping sails in connection with the said distilleries, and seeing that as a condition of establishing telephone communication the Postmaster-General has demanded a guarantee of £2,300 a year, and that the Treasury has by far the largest interest in the distilling industry in Islay, he will give the said guarantee to the Post Office?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

I do not consider that the advantage to the public service of having telephone communication with the island is sufficient to justify the Treasury giving a guarantee to the Post Office as suggested.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a lot of shipping and occasional shipwrecks, and that it is a great hardship and danger to passengers to be unable to communicate with the mainland, and that, generally, on occasions of this sort when there is a call for the life-boat, the telegraphic arrangements are broken down; and does he not see the necessity for telephonic communication?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask whether he would not consider the laying down of a pipe connection between the mainland and the island?


I hope the right hon. Gentleman will re-consider the matter.