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never knows what is going to happen. I do not think any Government would hesitate for five minutes as to whether they would take over the control of wireless during a war period or whether they would not. Personally, I would not hesitate, and I do not think there is anybody in Britain who would, but we have to understand where we are, and I want to have a conversation with the head of the Post Office on this subject before I leave England. I am not going away for a few weeks, because I have a great many matters to attend to, but there is no doubt in my mind, that if wireless develops as it has developed in the last year or two, it is going to be cheaper, and much more satisfactory and efficient than the cable. That is my opinion. I am not finding any fault with the cables; we have had, on the whole, a good service by cable and one which might continue for a very long time to come, but the other is one we should take advantage of.

Importance of an Early Decision.

I do not like the idea of the nation to which we all belong falling behind in wireless or anything else. I do not think it pays us to do it. We have to take advantage of improvements and inventions as they come along. There is time for it if the authorities here, the people at the head of affairs in England, will only bestir themselves and make up their minds as to what they are going to do, and if they do make up their minds, other countries like New Zealand will be able to do what is best under the circumstances. And I say again, there is no delay as far as we are concerned, whether Britain will be able to communicate direct to us or through Canada, as it has been suggested just now, and which I think very likely will be the case. That is all I wish to say, Sir Philip.

The Chairman : I think, Postmaster-General, it would be convenient as we have taken it in this way to hear anybody else, if they have any points to raise. Sir William, I gathered yesterday that Mr. Burton said he was in agreement with the Post Office generally?

South Africa satisfied with British Scheme.

Sir William Macintosh : Yes, we are in agreement with what has been said by the Postmaster-General. We, as you know, have taken our own individual line and have entered into a contract, and that being the position, we do not consider we have any status to interfere with anything that you might wish to do on this side, unless we had reason to suppose there would not be an efficient service. We are asked to assume-of course, we have had a good deal of pressure put on us by the Marconi Company-we are asked to assume that the service by the British Government will not be efficient, and will not be early brought into operation. We are not prepared to assume that. We have had an assurance from the Postmaster-General that the Rugby Station will be ready more quickly than any stations that Marconi's could possibly put up if they started one right away, and that there will be a fully equipped and fully efficient service. With that, of course, we must remain content. I would like to say that from the point of view of a company that has entered into a contract to put a large sum of money into our country, one cannot help having a certain amount of sympathy with them when they say the competing cable people are free to work the thing from both ends, and they will only have their one end, and, therefore, it will not be so easy for them to make it pay—there will be a possibility that it will not pay. After all, that is not our concern. We have had an assurance from the Post Office and with that we remain content.

Examples of the Dangers of Private Monoply.

Sir Patrick McGrath : Mr. President, if I intervene in this discussion it is merely because I want to emphasise the danger of creating a private monopoly in wireless telegraphy. In this, as in the matter of Preference, which we discussed a few days ago, Newfoundland furnishes a “horrible example."

The original submarine telegraph cables were laid across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland over sixty years ago. They were laid under a Charter from the Newfoundland Legislature, which gave the Company-now known as the Anglo-American Telegraph Company—a fifty years' monopoly.

Some twenty years later, another company was established, and tried to lay a cable into Newfoundland and break the monopoly. The cable was actually laid into Conception Bay, but the Anglo Company obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court, and the other company had then to lay its cable to the mainland of Canada. Another twenty years, and the question arose of establishing telephones in Newfoundland, when the Anglo Company intervened again, and successfully maintained its claim that telephony was a branch of telegraphy and covered by its monopoly. The third development was in 1901, when Marconi attempted to get wireless signals across the Atlantic. Knowing of this monopoly, he gave out that he was seeking to communicate with steamers in midocean, which, indeed, he was, but he was also trying to pick up signals from Poldhu, in Cornwall, at St. John's, and, after a week's tests, he announced to the world his success in this. I may say that it was through me, being a journalist, the announcement was made and that I heard the signals at the time.

As soon as the world was made aware by Marconi of what had happened, the Anglo Company again obtained an injunction to restrain him from further experiments, and he had to pack his bag and “clear out” as the Americans say.

What detriment resulted to the progress of cabling from the exercise of this monopoly, I cannot of course say, but it is significant that within a few days of the expiry of the monopoly in 1904, all the “ English-speaking ” cable companies working across the Atlantic, cut their cables on the Grand Banks and brought them into Newfoundland, where they established stations, and, as a result, they increased the efficiency of their lines, according to their own claims, about 33 per cent.

When the Marconi Company in turn established themselves in Newfoundland, they also sought and obtained exclusive privileges, and our Government found that when it wanted stations established on the Labrador Coast for the convenience of our fishermen, who resort there every summer, they could only be established by arrangement with the Company.

Another danger of monopoly arises from the present situation of the English-speaking transatlantic cable companies. The Commercial Cable Company, a purely American concern, is operated from New York; the Western Union, another American concern, has recently absorbed the Anglo-American, and this combination is also operated from New York instead of from London as previously. The “Direct" Cable was included in this group, but a few years ago was purchased by the Imperial Government, to serve as a unit in an Imperial Telegraph service to girdle the globe, but of course it can only carry a fraction of the traffic.

The Empire is thus faced with the contingency that its transatlantic cable facilities may at any time pass under foreign control. An evidence of the danger of this is afforded by the experience of the Western Union Cable Company some three or four years ago, when they tried to lay a cable from Miami, in Southern Florida, viâ the West Indies, to South America, in conjunction with some British cable company, and because of pressure from American cable interests, the American Government intervened, and by the use of warships forcibly prevented the laying of this cable until the company accepted the terms dictated by the authorities at Washington.

All of these circumstances seem to me to point the moral that in this matter every step should be taken to prevent a private monopoly being created in so important a service as wireless telegraphy is likely to become in the future relations of the different portions of the British Empire.

Early Solution of Vital Importance.

Mr. Tunes: As far as India is concerned, Sir, we accept absolutely the statement in the last paragraph of the PostmasterGeneral's memorandum, namely, that the policy to be adopted in this country is entirely a matter for His Majesty's Government; but India hopes that in the near future we shall make a real advance in the construction of a big high-power station, and I do hope that when that station is in operation we shall not be held up by the lack of adequate reciprocating arrangements in this country. I should, on general Empire grounds, like to associate myself with what the Prime Minister of Australia has said, namely, that it is a matter of vital importance that some solution should be found of the difficulties which have already held up this very important matter in this country.

Sir Laming Worthington-Evans : Mr. President, I think there is a general agreement amongst all of us as to what Mr. Bruce said about the necessity for better communication throughout the Empire, whether it be of news, whether it be for the migrants, or whether it be to supplement the cable service, and I entirely agree with him that we are behindhand as an Empire in wireless communications, and it is essential that leeway should be made up, and that there should be a really efficient and effective inter-communication throughout the Empire by wireless. Up to that point we are absolutely all agreed, but when we have said that, we have got to consider the means by which that service can be obtained. Progress of British Government Station.

Perhaps I may say just one or two words about Mr. Bruce's statement with regard to the Australian position. He says that Australia is now putting up a station of 20 masts of 800 feet each, and the danger he fears is that there will be no reciprocal station in Great Britain. I have informed the Conference that as far as the British station is concerned the land is purchased, the designs are made, the masts are ordered, and I am assured that, by the end of next year, that station will be erected. I think it will be erected probably within twelve months.

The Negotiations with the Marconi Company.

Now, there are well-known difficulties in coming to an agreement with the Marconi Company. I thought we had come to an agieement in July last. I announced an agreement, or the main heads of an agreement, in the House of Commons in July last, because at that moment, after negotiation with the Marconi Company, we had settled what seemed to be all the main heads of the Pooling Agreement. The Pooling Agreement amounted to this, that the Government should put up one station, that the Marconi Company should have licences to put up two stations, and from all those three stations there should be communications with the Empire, controlled by one controlling hand who would route the messages as the requirements of the traffic and of the various other stations of the Empire indicated.

The course of negotiation was that the Marconi Company claimed that the operating should be done from Radio Ilouse by the Marconi Company. We pointed out that that was not desirable; that the operating ought to be done by the public authority, by the Post Office, although the technical management of each station would remain in the hands as to the two stations, of the Marconi Company, and as to the one station, of the Government; but the actual operating and routing of the messages should be done by one central authority at the Post Office; they already do it to a large extent in other wireless work, and it is a matter of cominon routine work.

At first Marconi's objected; they afterwards agreed. They first made the proposal that Mr. Bruce has made to-day, namely, that part of the employees should be Post Office employees and part of them Marconi employees. That was their proposal. We examined that with a desire to meet them, but the terms of service of Government employees and the terms of service of private companies' employees are so different that you could not get them working alongside each other under any ordinary form of supervision. We pointed that out to the Marconi Company.

The Marconi Company then withdrew that proposal and said : “Well, we will agree to your doing the operating, provided that we can have someone in your Office to watch the working of the business."

We accepted that at once, and I said : “Yes, certainly, you are entitled to that; you are entitled to two-thirds of the receipts and you are entitled to see that the business is properly managed. By all means we will welcome your man in the Post Office for that

That was in July. It seemed to be entirely agreed. Negotiations on minor details, the actual drafting of the agreements, went on between the Post Office and the Company.

purpose."

The Break-down of the Negotiations.

But in September last Mr. Godfrey Isaacs came back and said that he had been considering the matter and had come to the conclusion that he could not raise the money on the footing that the control of the operating was to remain with the Post Office. I pointed out to him that this was a complete volte face, that he had already come to an agreement on these matters. He said he was sorry about that, but that was his decision and he could not go on. I was then thrown back from the pooling to what is known as regional distribution.

Difficulties of Regional Distribution not likely to be Serious.

I do not think that the difficulties of regional distribution are likely to be serious. Mr. Bruce fears that the Marconi Company may refuse to consider regional distribution, and that, therefore, he may lose his alternative route. Ile thinks that the Marconi Company may refuse to put up the stations in Canada.

Mr. Bruce : No, no.
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans : Of course they may.

Mr. Bruce : That is not the point I am making at all. I am assuming that the regional agreement is accepted. Supposing it were accepted, then I say that the Canadian Company might refuse to put up the two stations they are talking of in Montreal and in Vancouver. I am not saying it is right. Please understand me. I am merely putting what may happen.

Pressure exercised by Marconi Company.

Sir Laming Worthington-Erans : That would be a form of the pressure being brought to bear on us by the Marconi Company. When you talk of “the company," or when South Africa talks of " the company,” we have got to remember that it is the Marconi Company all the time; they are all of them, directly or indirectly, controlled by the one hand, which can tell the Canadian Company :

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