HC Deb 10 November 1926 vol 199 c1075

asked the Postmaster-General what has been the cost to the taxpayer during the last three years, respectively, of the reduction allowed from ordinary telegraphic rates for Press telegrams?

Viscount WOLMER

The revenue from Press telegrams has been £91,000, £83,000 and £84,000, respectively, in the last three financial years. At ordinary rates the revenue from the same amount of traffic would probably have been between £500,000 and £600,000 per annum, but considerable labour would be involved in obtaining the information necessary to estimate it with accuracy. It must not be assumed that, if ordinary rates had been charged, the Press traffic would have attained the same volume.


Can the Noble Lord state what justification at all there is for the general taxpayers of the country subsidising one of the most prosperous industries in the country at the present moment?

Viscount WOLMER

I do not think we can argue that matter at this moment, but I can assure my hon. Friend that the Postmaster-General is giving this matter his very careful attention.

Commander BELLAIRS

As there is a real loss when proportionate charges are involved, may I ask why a subsidy is given to betting in respect of betting telegrams for the Press?


The Noble Lord cannot give an answer on that point.