HC Deb 20 April 1909 vol 3 c1502W

asked the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that the negotiations for an arrangement to provide for the uninterrupted continuance of telephone construction work have been in progress with the National Telephone Company since October last, and that the special arrangement made by the company to put in hand works earlier than would otherwise have been the case so is to avoid dismissals of its construction staff during the winter months, and referred to by him in the House on 12th November last, will shortly lapse, he can state if there is any prospect of the negotiations between his Department and the company coming to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion; or whether he can state the points of difference which have prevented the negotiations being completed before this?


There is now, I believe, no substantial difference between the National Telephone Company and the Post Office with regard to the terms for the continuance of construction works which do not involve the replacement of existing plant of the company not worn out; and I hope it may shortly be possible to conclude an arrangement with the company for the continuance of such works. An arrangement for the continuance of the more numerous works which involve replacement of existing plant presents greater difficulties; but I do not think it would be expedient to state the points of difference.