HC Deb 29 March 1928 vol 215 cc1339-40
47. Mr. W. BAKER

asked the Prime Minister what guarantees exist to prevent the transfer of privately-owned cable and wireless companies, which form integral parts of the system of Imperial communications here and in the Dominions and elsewhere, to foreign ownership or control; and whether he is satisfied that the terms of the existing

Particulars of the pithead price of comparable grades of coal in these three countries are not available, but the Ruhr and Belgian coals for which prices are given in the following table are of the same class. The Polish coal is, however, of a different class.
Date Ruhr. Syndicate prices for the inland market. Belgium. Official prices in the free market. Polish Upper Silesia. Prices in the inland market.
Fettiörderkohle (through and through with approximately 25 percent. large). Tout Venant (through and through with approximately 35 percent. large). Flammstückkohle (large or screened steam coal).
Gold marks Per metric ton. Francs Per metric ton. Gold marks Per metric ton.
1st March, 1924 20.60 (22s. 9d.) Not available 29.44 (28s. l0d.)
1st March, 1925 15.00 (14s. 11d.) 23.20 (22s. 8d.)
Zlotys per metric ton.
1st March, 1926 14.92 (14s. 7d.) 105 (18s. 2d.) 26.40 (13s. 11d.)
1st March, 1927 14.87 (14s. 6d.) 190 (21s. 9d.) 32.60 (15s.)
1st March, 1928 14.87 (14s. 6d.) 180 (20s. 7d.) Not available.
NOTE.—The conversions into sterling have been effected at the current rate of exchange on the date stated.

licences and agreements are sufficient to safeguard the national interest?


I cannot answer as regards the position of the other Governments concerned, but all licences for cable or wireless services granted by His Majesty's Government in Great Britain contain a provision that the licensed company shall not assign or dispose of the licence or of any benefit arising from it without the consent of the Government. The question whether any further safeguards are necessary will be considered when the Report of the Imperial Wireless and Cable Conference has been received.


Has the Prime Minister now seen the statement to which I called his attention on Wednesday last, which was to the effect that imperial communications almost passed out of the control of the hands of this Government at the moment when the merger took place?