§ Major GLYN
asked the Postmaster-General whether the question of letting out to contract work of constructing air lines, as is done in the case of buried cables, has yet been decided, in view of the length of time it has been under consideration; and what is the average difference in cost of laying a mile of cable by contractors submitting tenders compared with the work when done by the Post Office?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The methods and cost of carrying on the construction of telegraph and telephone lines, both overhead and underground, are the subject of continuous study, and there is reason to hope that appreciable further economies will be possible. The relatively small magnitude of individual2828W overhead works and the wide area over which they are spread render them unsuitable for letting out to contract, and, on present information, I have no reason to suppose that economy would be secured by adopting such a course. Practically all the work of laying ducts for cables is let out to contract, and, as a rule, trunk line cables are laid by the contractors who manufacture the cable In. the few cases where the Post Office has itself laid such cables, the costs compare not unfavourably with those quoted by contractors.