HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc424-5W
Mr. Goldie

asked the Postmaster-General whether arrangements have yet been completed for accounts between British. ships and colonial land stations in respect of wireless messages sent from such ships to such stations to be based on sterling; whether the surcharge on such messages sent to Gibraltar and stations of Cable and Wireless, Limited, has been abolished; and, if not, at what date it is proposed in the case of such stations and, in particular, Gibraltar, to introduce the reduced rate of 8d. per word?

Sir W. Womersley

Sterling accounting for wireless messages exchanged between British ships and Aden, Gibraltar and the colonial stations of Cable and Wireless Limited, was brought into operation on the 1st January, 1939; and the surcharge was then abolished. Sterling accounting for this class of traffic was already in operation in Gambia, Gold Coast and the British Solomon Islands. It will be extended to British North Borneo and Hong Kong on the 1st April next. The question of approaching other Colonies on the subject is under consideration.

The effect of the abolition of the surcharge in the case of Gibraltar was to reduce the wireless charges from is. 1d. a word to 10d. a word, to which a penny a word has to be added for the delivery charge in Gibraltar. A rate of 8d. a word would only result in cases where specially reduced wireless charges are in operation, as in the United Kingdom.

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