asked the Postmaster-General whether the Leafield and Cairo wireless stations, work on which was begun in the autumn of 1919, are now conducting a service; what has been the public expenditure upon these stations; what is the latest estimated expenditure for the completed imperial chain of stations; and does this estimate provide for the use of patents?
Experimental transmission has been commenced between the Leafield and Cairo wireless stations, and as soon as the preliminary trials are completed a public service will be inaugurated. The Leafield station has been working satisfactorily for some months and its messages are regularly picked up practically all the way by liners on the Australian route, except when receiving conditions are abnormally bad. The total cost of the two stations is estimated at £250,000. The cost of the remaining five stations of the Imperial Chain, for which the Imperial Government will be responsible, is estimated in the recently published Report of the Wireless Telegraphy Commission at £853,000. This estimate does not provide for any liability which might be incurred in respect of royalties for the use of patents.