§ Commander BELLAIRS
asked the Postmaster-General when he can frame any estimate as to the present and prospective loss on the telegraph service as compared with the annual loss of about £700,000 in 1904, and as to how far that loss is due to the facilities provided for Press telegrams?66W
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
The estimate for the loss for 1917–18 is £556,000, but the conditions are abnormal, and this estimate is not an adequate criterion of the financial results of the telegraph service in normal times. A full statement will soon be published in a Parliamentary White Paper. This estimate is framed on commercial lines, and on a different basis from that for 1904 which my hon. and gallant Friend has quoted. Before the War the loss on Press telegrams was estimated at over £200,000 a year; there has since been a considerable reduction in the volume of Press work, though the resultant saving has probably been offset by an increase in wages and in cost of materials.