§ Mr. GODFREY COLLINS
asked the Postmaster-General if the railway companies can send telegrams dealing with railway matters along Post Office wires free of charge or below the recognised rates charged to the public; and, if so, what is the loss to the Exchequer during the past ten years?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Many of the larger railway companies of the United Kingdom can send telegrams dealing with railway matters over Post Office wires free of charge in accordance with the provisions of the Telegraph Act, 1868 (Section 9 (6) G) and agreements made in pursuance thereof; and some railway companies have the right of sending telegrams at reduced rates. It cannot strictly be said that there is a loss to the Exchequer, as the grant of these rights formed part of a comprehensive bargain for wayleave maintenance and other telegraph matters. The number of railway telegrams sent without payment during the year ended 31st March last was, however, 1,497,255, and their value at the Inland Rate would be about £60,800. The corresponding number of railway telegrams at reduced rates was 2,582, and the value of the reduction is estimated at £789.