§ Mr. ESSLEMONT
asked the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that The 2824W Telegraph Act, 1868, provides that all land, property, and undertakings purchased under the Act shall be assessable and rateable in respect to local, municipal, and parochial rates, assessments, and charges, at sums not exceeding the rateable value at the time of purchase, he will say whether the same principle will apply in the case of the telephone undertakings about to be acquired by the Post Office?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The Govern meat does not propose to follow the precedent of 1868, but is prepared to pay contributions in lieu of rates on the buildings and plant to be acquired. This was the course adopted in 1896 when the telephone trunk lines of the company were acquired. No legislative powers are necessary. The exact basis upon which contributions are to be made is now under consideration.