Regional Commissioner for Wales (Telephone Communication).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that it is impossible to speak over the telephone to the office of the Chief Commissioner for Wales at Cardiff; that the telephone number is not in the directory; that the Cardiff exchange refuse to put anyone through; and will he take steps to see that this office is put in the same position as other Government offices?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The telephone number of the office of the Regional Commissioner is not given in the telephone directory, but it is available to all local authorities and others in the Regions who are likely to require telephone communication with the Regional Commissioner for necessary official purposes.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether I am one of the "others" or not, because on Monday last I wanted to speak to them and failed completely? The girl in the exchange at Cardiff said that she was not permitted either to give the number or to put anybody through.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

For the personal information of my right hon. Friend, I am quite prepared to make him one of the others forthwith, but I think the House should realise that normally the public should deal with the local Civil Defence authority. Otherwise, there is the risk of the telephone lines becoming jammed at a moment when they might be badly wanted for operational purposes.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

Does my right hon. Friend think that this bit of an office in Cardiff is more important than the Home Office or any other Government Department which you can ring up at any time?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I would not admit that for a moment, but the presence of one's telephone number in a directory is no in- dication of importance or otherwise. Indeed, the absence of a number sometimes indicates that an important person does not want to be disturbed.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the clerk of a local authority in Surrey refused to give an evacuee the name of the Member of Parliament for the constituency so that the evacuee could communicate with him?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

That does not seem to bear any relation to the Question on the Paper.