§ Mr. RAMSDEN
asked the Postmaster-General why cables to or from the Far East may take a week to ten days before they are delivered; and whether he is aware of the feeling in business circles as to the inefficiency, from whatever cause, of the cable service?65W
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
The heavy delay on private telegrams to and from the Far East is due to several causes. In the first place the traffic has largely increased, being now two and a half times as great as before the War. A large proportion is Government traffic, which takes precedence over private telegrams. Further, owing to the stoppage of the auxiliary routes through Russia and Germany, the whole of the traffic is concentrated on the marine cables. Two of the seven which start from the United Kingdom are at present interrupted, but the companies are doing all in their power to restore them. I have urged the various Government Departments to reduce their telegraph traffic as far as possible; and I am endeavouring to supplement the cable service by an auxiliary wireless service by means of existing Government stations.