Telephone Service.

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office. – in the House of Commons at on 14 June 1921.

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Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

31.

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that the Post Office in Glasgow cannot give a telephone connection, in the event of a change of address, in less than a month, although all that is required is removal of the instrument from one office to another and connecting up to existing wires; and will he see that his Department is made more efficient in this respect?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative, although delay in effecting telephone removals may occur in Glasgow, as elsewhere, when there is a shortage of exchange equipment, or underground wires. It is desirable that a month's notice of removal should, if possible, be given in order to facilitate the arrangement of the work generally.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

32.

asked the Postmaster-General the increase in the number of telephones, respectively, in the United States of America and in the United Kingdom for the two years ended 31st December, 1920?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

The increase in the number of telephones belonging to the Bell system (American Telephone and Telegraph Company) and the companies connected with it, comprising 90 per cent. of the telephones in the United States, was 729,748 in 1919 and 806,188 in 1920. There are about 1,500 independent telephone companies in the United States, of which it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics. The increase in the number of telephones in the United Kingdom was 57,894 in 1919 and 75,027 in 1920.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Is it not obvious that this great increase in the United States as compared with this country points to the superior efficiency of private enterprise?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I do not think that that should be pressed too far, because, as a matter of fact, the percentage increase in this country was greater than the percentage increase in the United States.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if he had one telephone one year and two telephones next year there would be 100 per cent. increase?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I am quite aware of that.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Then why use such an argument in the House?

Photo of Dr Bouverie McDonald Dr Bouverie McDonald , Wallasey

34.

asked the Postmaster-General whether telephone subscribers who have been compelled to relinquish their instruments owing to change of address and cannot obtain a new installation will be compensated for that period during which they have not employed the service?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

It is not the practice to compensate subscribers for the absence of telephone service in circumstances described by the hon. Members; but rebate is allowed for any period after the expiry of a month following the notice of removal during which a subscriber is without service. If the subscriber gives a month's notice of removal, as he is asked to do, he will lose nothing on his rental.