HC Deb 07 March 1928 vol 214 cc1139-40
51. Mr. AMMON

asked the Postmaster-General the total number in the increase of communications since the inception of the beam system as compared to cables, and also the increase in receipts and profits?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir William Mitchell-Thomson)

The number of messages sent or received by the Post Office beam services during the week ending 26th February was:

Australia 7,130
Canada 4,686
India 15,122
South Africa 8,516
I am not in a position to furnish statistics of the traffic on the various cable routes, but there is evidence that the total traffic with the Dominions by cable and wireless is now considerably greater than it was before the beam services were established.


Has not the inception of the beam system demonstrated a saving in expenditure, and an increase in traffic?


I think it is a little early to draw exact inferences.


May I ask whether it is not the case that the great majority of the messages received by the beam system are most inaccurately delivered, and that when they are repeated, because they are inaccurate, another charge is made?


No. I am certainly not aware of that.


Will the right hon. Gentleman look into these matters? Is it not his business to do so?

52. Mr. AMMON

asked the Postmaster-General what is the relative position of the Government and the Marconi companies with respect to the ownership and control of the beam system of wireless telegraphy?


The beam stations in this country which communicate with the Dominions and India are owned and worked by the Post Office. They were constructed by the Marconi Company under an agreement which provides for payment to the company of a lump sum for each station, and, in addition, a royalty of 6¼ per cent. of the receipts of each of the stations so long as it contains any valid Marconi patent. The Marconi Company use the beam system at certain of their own stations which conduct wireless services with foreign countries.