HC Deb 16 July 1913 vol 55 cc1269-70W

asked the Postmaster-General if he will cause to be inserted in the proposed contract with the. Marconi Company for Imperial wireless stations a list of the existing Marconi patents, with the date of expiry of each, upon which royalty is to be paid?


Such a list would involve an inquiry into the date of the expiry of patents in all the countries where stations of the Imperial chain will be situated. Besides, the royalty under the proposed contract will cover the use not only of the existing Marconi patents, but also of any future Marconi patents which may be taken out during the term of the contract, and which may be utilised in the stations. I see no advantage in inserting in the contract such a list as that suggested by the hon. Member.


asked the Postmaster-General if, when quoting the first half of the first sentence of paragraph 24 of the Report of the Advisory Committee upon the Imperial wireless chain, to the effect that the Marconi system is at present the only system of which it can be said with any certainty that it is capable of fulfilling the requirements of the Imperial chain, he will at the same time, for the guidance of the House, quote the second half of the same sentence, to the effect that this must not be taken to imply that, in the opinion of the Committee, the Marconi Company must necessarily be employed as contractors for ail the work required for the Imperial chain?


I quoted the first half of the sentence because that was the only portion relevant to the question to which I was replying, which dealt, not with the comparative advantages of the erection of the stations by Government engineers and by the Marconi Company, but only with the comparative advantages of the Marconi system and other systems. Had the latter part of the sentence been relevant, a succeeding sentence from the same paragraph in the Report which they hon. Member omits to mention, would also have been relevant. It states that it may be said, and is no doubt the fact, that at the present moment the Marconi Company alone has had practical experience of the sort of long-distance work required, including experience in putting down stations, in organising the traffic and staff and in coping with the difficulties that arise in a new industry, and the value of such experience and organisation may well outweigh other considerations if rapid installation and immediate and trustworthy communication be desired.