20. Colonel DAY
asked the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that in a recent case in the County Court, Northallerton, the owner of a garage over which telephone and telegraph wires passed was held liable for the cost of replacement of wires damaged as the result of a fire on his premises, it is the practice of his Department to hold owners of land and/or houses who grant wayleave for wires, posts, etc., responsible for any damage to the telephone and telegraph wires; and, if so, as the wires are erected for the convenience and use of the public, whether he will issue instructions that in future owners of land and/or houses shall not be held liable for the cost of 1996 replacement in the event of damage not due to wilful action on their part?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The answer to the question is in the negative. In the particular case to which the hon. Member refers, the wives were in position under statutory powers.