§ MR. J. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the Government would take into consideration the desire which exists amongst business men and others in the midland and western towns of Ireland for the establishment of a trunk line for telephonic communication with Dublin and other centres of commerce and population, in view of the fact that such communication is enjoyed by the cities and principal towns of the north and south of Ireland, and that the districts referred to are deprived of the advantage arising from such an institution; and whether the undertaking, so far as it has been established in Ireland, is regarded as successful; and, if so, whether the 1537 Government will give the desired extension to the other districts in the country?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Postmaster General will be glad to give consideration to any representations that may be made to him in favour of the extension of trunk telephonic communication to the midland and western districts of Ireland, but he fears that there are at present very few directions in which the expense would be justified. Already a large expenditure has been incurred in giving communication to some of the principal cities and towns of Ireland, including Limerick, and extensions are in progress to other places, but it is too early to say whether the undertaking, so far as it has gone, can be regarded as successful from a financial point of view. The extension of the Trunk system must depend on the development of local exchanges, and the Postmaster General can only promise that this development shall be carefully watched.