§ Mr. MIDDLETON
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that Government telegraph wires are leased to the Press Association under an agreement which has not been laid before Parliament in accordance with the provisions of Clause 23 of the Telegraph Act, 1868; that the contract in question does not contain a fair wages clause; that trade rates are not paid to telegraphists in the employment of the Press Association; and that the Press Association are competing1858W
service prior to the 1st September, 1918; and what is the amount of pension paid in the case of officers leaving the service on and after that date?
It is necessary to distinguish between the special pension payable to the widow of a constable who has died as the result of an injury received in the execution of his duty, and the ordinary pension payable to the widow of a constable who dies from some other cause after having completed five years' service. The annual rates of pension payable prior to 1st September, 1918, and since that date, are indicated in the following table:
with the Post Office for general news for transmission to newspapers; and whether he will take steps to recover for the Post Office the monopoly rights vested in it by Parliament?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
I am advised that the Telegraph Acts do not impose upon the Post Office any obligation to place a licence such as that referred to on the Table of the House, and that a fair wages clause is inappropriate to such a licence. No such clause is included in the licence. I have no jurisdiction to intervene in the matter of rates paid by the Press Association to their telegraphists. Thu Post Office leases wires to the Press Association in the same way as it leases wires to other parties. This arrangement is advantageous to the Post Office, and I see no reason for reversing the policy which has been in force for many years past.