HC Deb 25 June 1928 vol 219 cc6-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the unsatisfactory telegraphic facilities in British East Africa, the difficulties of maintaining telegraph wires, and consequent delay in urgent telegrams, he will arrange for a system of wireless stations which will enable distant posts and travellers to maintain adequate communication and thus add to the safety of life and of travel in these areas?


I understand that the Kenya and Uganda Post and Telegraph Department have had under consideration the possibility of making use of wireless telegraphy for internal communications, but I have had no information to suggest that the present telegraphic services are unsatisfactory.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Italian Government maintain a very good service of wireless communication in their part of Africa, and that travel in the North of Africa is much safer than in British East Africa; and is he aware that a good many complaints have been lodged, not only about the difficulty of sending telegrams, but at the fact that telegrams arrive mostly about 10 days after being sent?


It depends upon the district. Obviously, in a great new country like East Africa, settlers cannot expect all the facilities that exist in the London district. As regards the Italians in Somaliland, I have not got sufficient information.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of any opposition being put up by the cable companies to the establishment of wireless?


No, because that opposition could only arise in regard to wireless communication between Kenya and this country. That has been established already. There could be no competition between the cable companies and local internal services by wireless.


Is it not very unusual for a Member of the Opposition to praise anything Italian?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Members of the Opposition are as much interested in the British Empire as are any other party?

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