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accomplished fact, the cable conditions will be improved. That will certainly be for the benefit of the South African papers and for the advantage of their readers, as well as, I think, indirectly for the benefit of the Empire.
Indian Anxiety for Action in the matter.
Sir Thomas Bennett : There is a good deal in saying "ditto" to everybody else in this discussion to-day, and I do not want to repeat any of the general arguments that have been put forward. I would only say that in India the installation of an efficient wireless service would be greatly appreciated, not merely as competing with the cable companies, but as supplementing them, and sometimes as being & substitute for them. Not so long ago, we had some weeks of a very inefficient service, and at that time an efficient wireless service would have been of very great advantage. Now, we are puzzled somewhat to know why there should be the delay in India. The question of principle has been settled, the Government of India have agreed to hand over the service to a private company, and I believe that as soon as the order were given the money would be found for the installation. That makes us a little impatient. There is nothing else that I need say in regard to this matter except that in these days there is a greater call than there has been hitherto for a full and efficient service. A greater interest in home affairs is being taken in India, and I think it is true that in England a greater interest is being taken in Indian affairs.
Lord Burnham : Certainly.
Sir Thomas Bennett : Therefore, a cheaper service would be of great Imperial advantage.
The Human Point of View.
Mr. Vinnicombe : I would simply emphasise the human point of view. The question of Empire settlement is now under discussion. If you can keep people who go to the Western Prairie in touch with what is happening here you offer a greater inducement for them to go. Settlement and communication go hand in hand. In Canada they experience difficulty, owing to cost, in getting the news service so complete as they would like. There was a meeting held only recently in Winnipeg, when it was proposed to curtail the news service from Winnipeg to the Pacific Coast and from Montreal to Nova Scotia in consequence of the expense involved. If you want Empire settlement you must have communication, and it seems to me that a cheaper news service would go a long way to facilitate the operation of the Settlement Act.
Lord Burnham : Are there any questions you would like to put?
The Chairman: I will ask my colleagues if they have any questions to ask?
Sir L. Worthington-Evans : I have no questions. (10995]
The Attitude of the Commonwealth Government.
Mr. Bruce: I do not know that questions are going to help very much. The position, as I understand it, is that the Empire Press Union have come to make representations to the effect that it is vital that we should get a cheaper and more efficient Cable Service. That, of course, one entirely agrees with. I take very much the same view that Mr. Hughes did, although I do not express it in quite the same language. The matter turns largely, as far as Australia is concerned, on the Wireless position. As you know, Australia is going forward with the erection of her own wireless station, which will communicate direct with Great Britain, but that station will be perfectly useless unless we have reciprocal stations here. That is a matter which is under discussion now, and I do not think there is very much to be said about it. From my point of view we have got to get reciprocal stations somehow. The Press Union have raised the matter of Wireless, but I will not now go into detail as I am discussing this question at the present time with the PostmasterGeneral.
With regard to the Pacific Cable Board, the position, of course, is an intolerable one, inasmuch as when a cheaper rate is suggested the answer is : “Well, it would be useless to reduce the rate; it would give a worse service, because of the terrific congestion that would take place. The line is loaded to its maximum now.” The fact that a Cable Company does extraordinarily good business is not exactly an argument in favour of keeping its charges up, and that position cannot remain indefinitely. This question of communication with Australia is so vital that if we are not going to have wireless, if wireless is not coming into the field to compete with the cable service, then the Pacific Cable Board must put down more lines. They must duplicate; they must do something. Australia, of course, has a big interest in the Cable Company and it is not prepared at this stage to advocate this extension and duplication until it is quite clear what will be our position in regard to wireless. From every point of view, therefore, it is vital to Australia that this question of wireless stations is settled somehow.
I entirely agree that we must have a cheap, speedy and adequate means of communication, and we are either going to have it by wireless or we must have more cables. With regard to putting any questions to the deputation, there is nothing one can ask at the present stage. The whole matter is under discussion, and all we can say is that we recognise the necessity for this service which is so urgently demanded.
The Chairman : I thought possibly there might be some points you would like to clear up.
I think the Conference are very much obliged to you for putting the case so plainly. The matter is, of course, one of the subjects under discussion here. We have had a shorthand note taken of all that has been said. We have the statement which, I think, it will probably be convenient to amplify by having Mr. Donald's statement inserted, and, of course, the Conference will consider it in all the deliberations it takes on this subject. The Conference is very glad to have had the opportunity of hearing the
representations you have made, which have been put very plainly. We are very much obliged
Lord Burnham: We are very much obliged to you, Sir Philip Lloyd-Greame, for the courtesy with which we have been received and for the large measure of concurrence which has been expressed.
(The deputation then withdrew.)
APPENDIX I. Extracts from Resolutions adopted by the Imperial Press Conference,
Ottawa, Canada, August 5, 6 and 7, 1920. Cable and Wireless Communications.
2.-(a.) That this Conference is strongly of opinion that it has become necessary to secure forth with facilities for the better, quicker and cheaper conveyance of news throughout the Empire, and calls upon the Empire Press Union to take immediate steps to attain this end.
(b.) This Conference strongly recommends the Governments of Great Britain and Ireland, of the Dominions and of India to encourage the development of cable, wireless and other facilities for the exchange of news and opinion within the Empire, and to assist in securing reduced rates for such inter-communication; any such assistance to appear specifically in the estimates of public expenditure, and to be so directed as not to affect the quality of the news service supplied, or the freedom of the newspapers so served.
(c.) This Conference is of opinion that the full utility of cable and wireless communications, as a factor in educating public opinion, and in maintaining a good understanding between all peoples of the Empire, will not be attained until rates are reduced to a basic charge of id. per word for Press messages throughout the whole of the British Empire.
3. This Conference is strongly of opinion that steps should at once be taken to provide the British Empire and the world with the advantages of wireless telegraphic and telephonic communications, and it urgently requests the Governments of the Empire to secure by public or by full facilities for private enterprise, at an early date, adequate wireless services throughout the Empire.
4. That with a view to improving cable and wireless communications and inter-Imperial news service within the Empire, this Conference suggests that each delegation shall press upon its own Government the initiation of negotiations with the neighbouring Governments of the British Dominions for such improvement of cable and wireless communications between them as will be to their mutual interest and advantage; information as to any action taken by delegations in this connection to be communicated to the Empire Press Union.
5. That a Committee be appointed in London by the Empire Press Union, consisting of the President, four representatives of the British Isles and two representatives of each overseas delegation, to take action requisite upon the resolutions adopted by the Imperial Press Conference (Canada, 1920) regarding Cables and Wireless Communications.
Postal Rates (Letters).
6. This Conference is of opinion that there should be cheaper postal rates for letters throughout the Empire, and the various delegations undertake to urge their respective Governments to take appropriate action; the Empire Press Union to be advised by delegations of any measures they may take to this end. Postal Rates (Newspapers and Periodicals).
7. This Conference recommends that postal rates within the Empire for newspapers and periodicals should not exceed the lowest rates in force between any foreign country and any part of the Empire.
Dissemination of Empire News.
8. That, as Empire interests need a greater dissemination of knowledge concerning the Empire, this Conference urges the Council of the Empire Press Union to take such action as may be practicable to ensure the interchange and publication of a larger volume of Empire news, apart from political propaganda, by the newspapers associated with the Empire Press Union than at present pertains.
Resolution adopted by the Council of the Empire Press Union
on July 12, 1921. That this Council is deeply convinced of the necessity of combining Government support with private enterprise and competitive business administration in any world-wide British wireless system; and urges all Governments within the Empire to co-operate on concerted lines, without further loss of time, to secure important business and political advantages that will otherwise be obtained by other enterprises.
That copies of this resolution be sent to the Dominions Prime Ministers and the Indian representatives at present in London; and to the overseas sections of the Empire Press Union, for further urgent action in their respective countries.
RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS.
The discussion on this subject was opened at the Fifteenth Meeting held on the 25th October, 1923.
Sir Douglas Hogg, Attorney-General, in opening the discussion, said that at Common Law in all countries having the English Common Law, and, he thought, in countries having the RomanDutch Law, a judgment obtained in one jurisdiction can only be enforced in the other by bringing an action on it. As between the three countries in the United Kingdom the position was altered in 1868 by an Act which provided for the enforcement of the judgments of one country by registering them in the other. In 1911 the Imperial Conference resolved that steps should be taken to see how far judgments obtained in the United Kingdom or in any one of the Dominions could be reciprocally enforced. In 1916 a Draft Bill was circulated to the various Dominions practically drafted on the lines of the British Judgments Enforcement Act. That was criticised by various Dominions, a Committee was appointed by Lord Finlay to investigate those criticisms, and, as a result, a modified Bill was circulated in 1919 and was substantially enacted in this country in 1920 by the Administration of Justice Act.
The Administration of Justice Act, 1920.
That Act provides that wherever there is reciprocal legislation the judgments in one country can be enforced in the other by registering them in the other country, subject to certain exceptions, where there is an Appeal pending, or where the Court originally acted without jurisdiction, or where there has been no appearance or submission to the jurisdiction, or where the judgment has been obtained by fraud of the party, or where the judgment is contrary to the public policy of the particular country where it is sought to be enforced. With those exceptions a judgment obtained in any Dominion which has adopted reciprocal legislation can be registered in England and thereupon enforced just as if it were a judgment obtained in England.
The Present Position.
New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia, Newfoundland, and most of the Colonies, have adopted the Act, and therefore Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments prevails as between them and Great Britain. With regard to other Dominions or States, some have promised to legislate at once, some have said they may legislate when they can find time, and some have not answered at all. It is obviously a matter for each Dominion to make up its own mind about, but in practice it is of material assistance if, instead of having the expense and trouble of a fresh action when a judgment has already been obtained, it were possible, by the simple and inexpensive method of registration, to enforce a judgment obtained in one part of the British Empire in