asked the Postmaster-General what has been the revenue from Press telegrams during each of the past 10 years; the estimated annual loss to the Post Office; the number of words of Press messages transmitted each year; and the proportion paid for at day and night rates, respectively, in each of these years?
Having regard to the continued attack upon the telegraphs and the losses sustained in working the telegraph system, is it proposed, in view of the economies demanded, to review the question of the Press subsidy?
This is a matter of concern to my right hon. Friend, but the hon. Member will realise that it is hardly a question which can be dealt with within the limits of a supplementary answer.
|The following Statement gives the required information, so far as it is available, for the ten years ended 31st March, 1931.|
|Year.||Revenue.||Estimated Deficit.||Estimated Number of Words Transmitted.|
|* The figures for 1921–22 include telegrams originating in Southern Ireland. The figures for later years exclude such telegrams.|
|† The deficit in 1930–31 cannot yet be stated.|
The estimated deficit is arrived at after charging against press telegrams their full proportionate share of the general expenses of the telegraph service. The deficit does not therefore represent, or purport to represent, the cost which would be saved by eliminating press telegrams; this is not readily ascertainable but would amount to a much lower figure.