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Imperial Wireless Chain

Volume 65: debated on Monday 20 July 1914

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81, 82, and 83.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he can state the progress made under the contract ratified a year ago between His Majesty's Government and the Marconi Company for the erection of an Imperial wireless service; whether any difficulties have recently arisen involving delay; (2) whether he is aware that the Marconi Company are completing a long-distance station for themselves at Carnarvon; whether any Imperial station under the company's contract with the Government is nearing completion; whether he will ensure as great an expedition in the completion of the Imperial wireless stations as of the station at Carnarvon, and provide that the Marconi Company does not give priority of construction or equipment to their private work at the expense of the long-awaited Imperial service; and (3) whether, having in view the strategic importance of the Imperial Wireless Chain, he can state when the first three stations, for which the contract with the Marconi Company was ratified a year ago, will be completed?

As regards Nos. 81 and 83, I would refer him to the reply given on the 16th inst. to a similar question put by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Finsbury. I am aware that the Marconi Company are completing a longdistance station at Carnarvon, but I find no reason to think that the Company have delayed or will delay their works on the Imperial wireless stations in consequence of their private work.

Is it true to say that the delay in completing the wireless chain is due to the Marconi Company or to the Post Office?

I would not like to say that. It is undoubtedly the fact that they have within a comparatively recent period—during the last two or three months—addressed to us a request which, if we had acceded to it, would have involved some alteration of some of the apparatus to be used for messages, and' that has caused some delay.

Is it true that this company has made a complaint as to the delay, which they claim is not owing to their action at all?

There are always complaints between the Post Office and the Marconi Company, and I should be very sorry to try and apportion the blame, if blame there be, between the two authorities.

Is this matter still considered to be as urgent by the Government as it was considered to be a year ago?