§ Mr. NEWMAN
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he has received a petition from owners and leaseholders in certain roads in the district of Palmer's Green, N., praying that telephone poles be not erected in these roads; whether, before proceeding to the erection of telephone poles, the Post Office has communicated with the Southgate District Council; and, if not, whether he will give the Section of 902W the Telegraph Act enabling the Post Office to override the wishes of the local authority and ratepayers and proceed to erect such poles against their wishes; (2) whether, in the event of the residents in a locality undertaking to pay the difference between the cost of installing an underground system of telephone wires and an overhead system, the local authority can require the Post Office to substitute an underground for an overhead installation; (3) whether telephone poles can be erected in any road within ten yards of a dwelling-house without the consent of the occupier or owner of such dwelling-house; if not, whether he has obtained the consent of the occupiers or owners of the houses in Selborne Road, Southgate, N., to the erection of the poles which he proposes to erect in that road; and, if not, will he state under what Act he claims to have power to erect telephone poles in Selborne Road without the consent of the occupiers or owners of houses in that road?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Petitions were received more than a year ago from the residents in two roads in Palmer's Green against the erection of overhead telegraphs, but as a sufficient number of subscribers was not forthcoming to justify the provision of an underground line, painted poles have been erected, with the consent of the Southgate Urban District Council. A local authority cannot require the Post Office to lay an underground telephone system where the residents in a locality are willing to pay the difference in cost between underground and overhead lines; but unless there are engineering difficulties, as in the case of trunk lines, underground construction will be adopted by the Post Office where such payment is guaranteed. It has been held in the Courts that the provision which prohibits the erection of poles within ten yards of a dwelling house without the consent of the occupier or owner does not apply to telegraphs placed upon public roads.