29 APRIL 1899, Page 18

The decision of the Imperial Government to subsidise the All-British

Pacific Cable, already agreed on by Canada and the Australasian Colonies, was announced in the Times of Thursday. According to the agreement the cable property is to be vested in a Board of Commissioners for the benefit of the respective Governments concerned, and in proportion to their respective shares in the joint guarantee, Canada and England taking five- eighteenths each, and New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and New Zealand one-ninth each. The route of the cable will be from Vancouver, by Fanning Island and Fiji, to Norfolk Island, branching thence to Queensland and New Zealand. All the landing points are to be in British territory, and the different Governments concerned will appoint administrators in proportion to their several shares. The new cable will enormously simplify communication between Sydney and Vancouver ; bring Western Canada for the first time into practical communication with Australasia on the eve of federation, and therefore of commercial expansion ; and confer new political importance on Canada as an Imperial highway. The necessary outlay is estimated at two millions, and experts have expressed a confident opinion that the cable will pay handsomely from the outset, while the cost of messages to Australia will be reduced at once from 4s. 9d. to 3s. a word.