Teusphone Service.

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office. – in the House of Commons on 11th April 1922.

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Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

35.

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view to popularising the trunk system and assuring the Subscribers full time allowance for conversation, he is prepared to give instructions for time to commence to run when communication has been established with the individual required, and not, as at present, when the number asked for has been obtained?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I regret that I am unable to entertain this proposal, which would involve a considerable increase in the num- ber of trunk lines and operators and would virtually convert all trunk calls into what are known in the United States as "particular person" calls, where an extra charge of 25 per cent, or 50 per cent, is made for this service.

Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

36.

asked the Post master-General whether he is aware that in many instances it is impossible for a tenant to obtain a lease for a full period of 12 months; whether he is aware that a telephone contract must be undertaken for the minimum period of one year; and whether he can see his way to modify such a contract in the case of those desiring a telephone service, but whose tenancy does not hold good for that length of time?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

Where service is required for a short period, it can be provided on payment of a proportionate rental plus the cost of providing and recovering the necessary wires and apparatus or at a year's rental, whichever is the less.

Photo of Mr William Carter Mr William Carter , Mansfield

37.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there are many complaints by telephone subscribers of being overcharged on their telephone accounts; and, if so, whether he will take such steps as will establish an improved system of checking calls, and so give confidence to subscribers and ensure accuracy?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

The Post Office system of recording telephone calls is the most efficient which has yet been devised, and is in use in all countries where the telephone is extensively developed, including the United States of America; but every new suggestion is explored with a view to improvements.

Lieut.-Colonel A. MURRAY:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the complaints of being overcharged in the United States of America are nothing like what they are here?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I should advise my hon. and gallant Friend to read some of the American humorous papers, and he would not then come to that conclusion.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have had extensive experience of what goes on in the United States and also here, and that there is no question about the difference?

Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

Has the right hon. Gentleman not assured the House that it is impossible for us to do what they do in the United States of America in regard to trunk calls, as he last week assured us it was impossible for us to do what they do in Spain?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

On the contrary, I said it was impossible for us to do it in this country unless we made a charge equivalent to that which is made in the United States.

Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

But surely what is good enough to pay a private concern in America is good enough in this country.