§ MR. EARP
asked the Postmaster General, Whether, considering the importance to agriculturists of a knowledge of weather forecasts, he can arrange to have notice of them given through the post offices of the United Kingdom by telegraph and otherwise, in order that they may be posted up outside post offices for the information of the public?
§ MR. FAWCETT
Sir, I am very sorry not to be able to accede to the request contained in the Question of my hon. Friend. It would, I find, be acting in opposition to the understanding upon which the Telegraph Acts were passed if the Post Office became a purveyor of news. It was, I believe, contemplated that the Post Office should confine itself to the transmission of news. I think the object sought for by my hon. Friend might be easily attained in another way, because I have ascertained that the Meteorological Department would be willing to supply weather forecasts at little more than a nominal charge. Almost the only expense, therefore, would be the cost of telegraphing the message, and by the Telegraph Act it is provided that if a message is sent to an exchange or a club the Press rate only shall be charged, which is 1s. for the first message of 75 words, and 2d. for each copy. If, therefore, a number of towns or villages combined, the charge would be extremely small.