HC Deb 04 March 1924 vol 170 cc1198-9W

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the frequent interruptions in the cable services in the Orkney and Shetland Islands owing to damaged cables, the long delays that are ordinarily incurred before repairs can be undertaken, and the great loss, inconvenience, and hardship suffered in consequence by the inhabitants, he is prepared to consider an extended use of wireless telegraphy particularly for communication with outlying islands; and if he will consider whether a beginning of this policy might be made in certain localities in conjunction with the assistance of other Departments of State such as the Scottish Fishery Board, the Scottish Board of Health, and the Northern lighthouses Commissioners?


The question of replacing the present system of cable communication in the Orkney and Shetland Islands by wireless telegraphy has recently been carefully considered, but it is found that the expense which would be involved would, in present circumstances, not be justified. The matter will, however, be reconsidered as and when the renewal of the inter-island cables becomes necessary. The Scottish Board of Health has already approached the Post Office regarding the provision of wireless services to certain of the outlying islands, and has been informed that estimates of cost in particular localities will be furnished if there is a reasonable prospect of the loss which would be incurred in working the stations being met by the other Departments interested.