§ 44. Mr. HARRIS
asked the Postmaster-General what progress is being made with the negotiations for opening up telephonic communication with the Dominion of New Zealand; and whether he is in negotiation with the Dominions of South Africa and Canada for direct telephonic communication, so that Great Britain shall be in telephonic communication with all the Dominions beyond the sea?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
With regard to New Zealand I understand that experiments are at present being conducted with a view to the establishment of a wireless telephone service between Australia and New Zealand; and it is hoped that this service will be linked up with the Anglo-Australian service, in order to provide telephonic communication between this country and New Zealand. The question of establishing a direct service with New Zealand will be considered later if the amount of traffic justifies it. With regard to Canada arrangements are being made to provide a direct service in addition to the existing service via New York. With regard to the Union of South Africa the authorities there have declared their policy to be to establish a Government-owned wireless station in the neighbourhood of Johannesburg instead of utilising the existing station of the South African Marconi Company, but they do not feel able to commit themselves at the moment to the capital expenditure involved.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Would it not promote trade between this country and the Dominions to have this direct telephonic communication. Would it not be worth while spending money in this country to effect that purpose?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
That is true as a general proposition, but we must make a balance between revenue and expenditure.