HC Deb 06 July 1927 vol 208 cc1261-2

asked the Postmaster-General if he can now state the loss on the telegraphs, on the basis of the commercial accounts, during the year ended 31st March last and how much of it accrued in connection with press telegrams?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir William Mitchell-Thomson)

The commercial accounts for the year ended 31st March, 1927, are not yet ready, but it is anticipated that the deficit on the telegraph service will be £1,400,000 approximately. The proportion of the loss attributable to press telegrams has not yet been determined, but there is no reason to suppose that there will be any appreciable variation from the figures for 1925–26, when the loss was estimated at about £210,000.

Commander BELLAIRS

Has there been no increase in the charges for press telegrams, and is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the "Daily Mail" has advocated an increase in those charges on the ground that there is no reason why the public should be saddled with this loss?


There has been no increase in the charges for press telegrams since the last Act was passed some years ago. My hon. and gallant Friend is aware that changes can be made only by legislation, and I am not convinced that an increase of the rates on press telegrams would minimise the loss unless the increase was so large as to be impracticable.

Colonel DAY

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether a great many more press telegrams were sent last year than in the previous year?


I could not say without notice, but I think the tendency is the other way.