HC Deb 18 May 1896 vol 40 cc1548-9
MR. F. A. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that, previous to the taking over of the telephone wires by the Government, subscribers to the National Telephone Company in Kettering were charged threepence for three minutes' conversation between Kettering and Leicester, but that since the Government has taken over the trunk wires the Company has given notice that the charge will be increased to sixpence; and, whether, having regard to the large amount of transactions thus carried out between these towns, he will take steps to have the old tariff of charges retained.


The Company, after acquiring various telephone systems throughout the country, were gradually adopting a uniform scale of charges for trunk conversations. That scale gives 6d. as the rate between Kettering and Leicester, and in explanation of the fact that only 3d. was being charged, the Postmaster General supposes that the company had not had the time to apply their scale in this particular instance before the wires became the property of the State. He does not see his way to make the charge less than 6d. I may explain that Kettering is in an area of which Northampton is the trunk centre. The charges are calculated from Northampton, and while under this arrangement Kettering pays more to Leicester than it would if it were the trunk centre itself, it pays less to many other towns.