HC Deb 20 December 1945 vol 417 c1517
22. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General why the G.P.O. has never permitted Cable and Wireless, Limited, to reduce rates for cables to the same level as those charged by the G.P.O. for telegrams to France and Switzerland; and why permission was withheld until 1939 for similar reductions by the company on cables to Austria, Bulgaria, U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia.

Mr. Burke

Cable and Wireless, Ltd., has always been allowed to handle traffic with all these countries at the same rates as those charged on messages passing over the Post Office routes, provided the Company's direct wireless routes were utilised.

Sir J. Mellor

Surely the Minister will not deny that the Post Office refused to allow the company to reduce its charges. Will he state the reason for that?

Mr. Burke

The Post Office has not given a refusal to the Cable and Wireless Company in regard to direct routes, but the, Post Office does not want the company to use an indirect route, which is for long-distance Empire services, for direct communications when both the company and Post Office have direct routes.