§ Mr. BURGOYNE
asked whether the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury will reconsider their decision as to the basis upon which they are prepared to pay contributions in lieu of rates upon the telephone mains and wires which they have taken over from the National Telephone Company, so that the assessment upon which the contributions are based may be made subject from time to time to such revision as the circumstances may render equitable?
§ Mr. BURGOYNE
asked the First Lord of the Treasury why the Government still refuse to make a contribution to the rates in respect of the mains and wires which have been laid or erected by the Post Office, seeing that the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury have desired to make contributions in lieu of rates in respect of the mains and wires taken over by the Post Office from the National Telephone Company?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Ever since the transfer of the telegraphs to the State in 1870 no contribution has been paid in1052W respect of telegraph wires laid by the Post Office, and a similar practice has been adopted with regard to telephones. In the case of wires and mains taken over from the National Telephone Company it was decided that contributions should be given because rates had already been paid upon them by the Company, and it was not desired to deprive the local authorities of revenue they had already actually received. It was accordingly agreed to make payments in respect of such wires and mains at the poundage from time to time prevailing on the assessments as they stood just before the transfer to the State.