§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
asked the Postmaster-General whether he has re- 797W ceived complaints of the inequitable distribution of Departmental advertisements; whether he is aware that such advertisements are frequently inserted in newspapers having only a limited circulation in the districts to which they apply, to the exclusion of more important local organs; and that the statutory notices so advertised are thereby deprived of the publicity provided for in the Standing Orders; and whether, in the distribution of such advertisements, special favour is accorded to newspapers which happen to be supporters of the Government of the day?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
Complaints respecting the distribution to local newspapers of advertisements relating to extensions of telegraphs are occasionally received, but I see no reason to doubt that my local officers exercise proper care and judgment in the selection of the newspapers most suitable for these statutory notices. The Telegraph Acts only require that the notices shall be inserted in one local paper, and it is often difficult to avoid causing dissatisfaction to the proprietors of other local newspapers. The inquiries I am making in connection with a particular case to which the hon. Member has drawn my attention by letter are not798W yet completed, and I will communicate with him at an early date.