asked the Secretary to the Treasury what was the number of staff engaged in preparing and publishing telephone directories and the Post Office Guide last year; what was the cost; and whether he will give private publishing firms the opportunity to tender estimates for this work.
The preparation of the material for these publications is the responsibility of my noble Friend the Postmaster-General. So far as printing is concerned, all the sectional alphabetical and classified telephone directories and four local directories are printed by H.M. Stationery Office. In 1951–52 the average staff employed on this work was 120. Local directories for which Stationery Office printing capacity is not available, and the Post Office Guide, are printed by private firms under competitive contract. The total cost of printing in 1951–52 was £877,500.
It is not proposed to disturb the arrangements for printing the main telephone directories, for which the Stationery Office has special plant and standing type for about 16,000 pages.