Mr Ernest Bennett: One can hardly compare the railway charges with those for air transport. The matter is in fact almost entirely one of Imperial Airways' charges.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The drivers of mail vans owned by the Post Office are not insured. In the event of an accident in which the driver of such a van is involved, it is the practice of the Department to accept the same degree of liability in respect of a claim for civil damages as is imposed on a private employer?
Mr Ernest Bennett: No, the Government do not insure their property or their servants. The object of private third-party insurance is, of course, to secure the existence, so to speak, of a definite person who can and must meet damages assessed against him. In the case of Government property or servants, no such insurance is necessary, because the risks are spread over the whole of the taxpaying community.
Mr Ernest Bennett: Out of State funds.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The reason why we did not acknowledge liability in that case was that, according to the evidence before us, we did not think that the responsibility for what happened was on our driver. I need not say that in a case like that the aggrieved person can of course proceed against the driver in the courts, and we accept service on behalf of the driver and, if the case is given against him, also pay up.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The postal services in Gateside appear to be giving satisfaction generally, but an increase in the amount of correspondence has caused some slight delay in the postal delivery in a portion of the district. Adjustments have now been carried out which will, I hope, remove the difficulty.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The statement of the hon. Member does not agree with the information I have received from other sources to the effect that dissatisfaction has practically disappeared as a result of recent improvements in the local postal services.
Mr Ernest Bennett: If the hon. Gentleman will send me any more information I will be glad to go into it.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The average period during which each wavelength is at present used for the broadcasting of matter which is not broadcast on any other wavelength is about one hour a day, the periods at individual stations ranging from nearly 3½ hours to nil. The more important items in the programmes are broadcast simultaneously from two or more stations. This system of simultaneous broadcasting offers many...
Mr Ernest Bennett: The advantage of the present system is that it enables people with cheaper sets to get a much larger variety of programmes, which otherwise would only be available to those with costlier sets.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The hon. Member had better discuss these matters with the experts.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The number of letters and other packets sent in the letter mails during the 12 months ended the 31st of March last was approximately 6,640,000,000. I regret that it would be impossible to obtain reliable information with reference to the other figures asked for without prolonged and costly examination, but my right hon. Friend can, however, give an assurance that the total number of losses...
Mr Ernest Bennett: Attention was specially directed to the earlier closing of the Indian air-mail in the Press and in the Post Office Daily List on the 27th of October, and copies of the air-mail leaflet showing the revised time of posting were obtainable at the Post Offices generally on the 28th of October, a full week before the alteration became effective.
Mr Ernest Bennett: Such letters should normally be delivered by the first post the following morning. If my hon. Friend has particulars of correspondence which appears to have been delayed, I will have enquiry made.
Mr Ernest Bennett: In view of the rapid and continued increase in the volume of air-mail traffic, I cannot agree with my lion. Friend's suggestion that the development of Empire air communications is restricted by the existence of varying air postage rates. These rates are fixed for each air service or group of services in relation to the costs of air
Mr Ernest Bennett: During the last 12 months 10 Post Office servants in Glasgow were prosecuted at the instance of the Post Office authorities. Nine were convicted and one was bound over. As the remainder of the answer contains a number of figures, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr Ernest Bennett: It may be so.
Mr Ernest Bennett: I will keep the suggestion of my hon. Friend in mind.
Mr Ernest Bennett: The licence for a wireless exchange contains a clause to the effect that nothing in the licence authorises the licensee to do any act which is an infringement of any copyright which may exist in any published programme. The question whether the publication of programmes for wireless exchanges giving certain details constitutes an infringement of copyright is a legal question which my right...
Mr Ernest Bennett: Yes, it is a fact, and the whole matter is sub judice at this moment.