5 AUGUST 1905, Page 3

The Select Committee appointed to consider the agreement between the

Post Office and the National Telephone Company has presented its Report. The license of the Company expires in 1911, and the Committee was appointed with a view to discover some means of taking over its work. The Company can be put an end to easily enough, but the question is which is the better alternative in the meantime for the public interest,—for the Post Office to acquire its business, or to leave it alone and construct a rival system. After a careful review of the arguments, the Committee recommend the former alterna- tive,—the purchase of the Company's plant. The rest of the Report is mainly technical, dealing with the terms of the agree- ment, such as the definition of " plant " and the method of valuing it. It recommends that all permanent employes of the Company be taken into the Government service in 1912 on the same conditions as Post Office employes. In order to encourage municipal telephone enterprise, the Committee further recommend that licenses should be granted to munici- palities between now and 1912 for any length of time without a concurrent extension of the Company's license.