HC Deb 24 February 1919 vol 112 cc1437-8W

asked the Postmaster-General if he will inform the House how many cables were damaged by enemy action during the War and how many routes were affected; how many of these cables have since been repaired; how many became inefficient through natural causes, and whether these defects have all been made good; and whether, in view of the shortcomings of the cable system in the War, he proposes to expedite the development of wireless systems?


So far as I am aware, apart from the cables to Belgium, there has been very little interruption of cables by enemy action during the War. It is undesirable to give details on this point at present. From time to time, during hostilities, many cables were interrupted by natural causes. The majority were repaired within a comparatively short time after the breaks; but eight, which are believed to have been interrupted by such causes, have for various reasons not yet been repaired. I cannot agree that the cable system, as such, has shown any serious shortcomings during the War. In any case, valuable as wireless communication may be, its development would hardly have removed such shortcomings, inasmuch as commercial wireless communication had to be stopped altogether for strategic reasons.