§ Mr. LAMB
asked the Postmaster-General why the system of communicating weather forecasts by telephone has been abandoned; whether his Department took any steps to secure the co-operation of the farmers' organisation in giving publicity to the system when it was instituted; whether that organisation was consulted before the system was abandoned; and whether he will consider the desirability of reconsidering any decision taken so that the position of agriculturists may not be prejudiced at this season of the year?272W
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
The system referred to has been abandoned with the concurrence of the Post Office Advisory Council because the use made of it had become so trifling that the elaborate arrangements required for the distribution of the messages ceased to be justified, and I am not prepared to reconsider the decision. The National Farmers' Union were asked to give publicity to the service in their publications and they did so. Publicity was also given to the service in the Press, and special steps have been taken from time to time to draw the attention of all telephone subscribers in rural areas to the service. The National Farmers' Union was not consulted before the system was abandoned. It has no doubt been found that the present arrangements for broadcasting weather forecasts and for giving reports in the Press now meet generally the requirements of agriculturists.