Hull Telephone Exchange

Oral Answers to Questions — Telephone Services – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th July 1968.

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Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich 12:00 am, 25th July 1968

asked the Postmaster-General when he intends to pay a visit to the telephone exchange in Hull.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

I have no plans at present to visit Hull.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

Does not the Postmaster-General think that that would be very worthwhile, because he could then discover why we have to pay ever-increasing charges for our telephone services whereas in Hull the charge is 3d. per call and the charge for the private subscriber is £25 a year, with as many free calls as he likes?

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

I am always willing to learn from anybody else. If Hull has anything to teach the G.P.O., we are only too pleased to learn it. But I believe that they have more to learn from us than we have to learn from them. The charges are comparable.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Kingston upon Hull West

We welcome the Postmaster-General's magnificent offer of exchange, but will my right hon. Friend take it from me and from my colleagues representing the other Hull constituencies that we do not welcome the help of any other Member of the House, least of all a Member from East Anglia? Nevertheless, we accept what is said about the excellence of our telephone exchange and our facilities and of the service for the people of Hull.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

In view of that delightful comment from my hon. Friend, I will seek an opportunity to visit Hull.

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

The Postmaster-General has not given a very good explanation why the service is cheaper. Perhaps he would have another look at that and at the same time tell us why it is better.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

I am not satisfied that the service is better when we consider the responsibilities of the G.P.O. for the country as a whole compared with the position in Hull, where they are dealing with a fairly restricted area and where they do not have the costs and complications experienced by the G.P.O. in providing a service for the United Kingdom as a whole.