§ MR. A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN (Kent, Tunbridge)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been called to the long continued complaints of the inefficiency and costliness of the local telephone service at Tunbridge Wells; whether he is aware that a large number of subscribers, owing to the impossibility of getting any improvement from the National Company, have given notice to, withdraw their subscriptions; whether he has received a Resolution, passed last week unanimously, by the Town Council of Tunbridge Wells, asking him to give a licence for the formation of a local company; whether a similar request was made to him by a deputation in May last year; and whether he will be willing to grant this request?
§ MR. BANBURY
Yes, Sir. The attention of the Postmaster General has been called to the complaints from Tunbridge Wells. He is not aware of the number of subscribers who have given notice to withdraw their subscriptions. The Resolution passed at a meeting of the Town Council on the 6th of January duly reached the hands of the Postmaster General, who caused its receipt to be acknowledged on the 11th of January. A request for a licence to enable a local company to be established in Tunbridge Wells was made by a Deputation which was introduced to the Postmaster General on the 19th of May last by the hon. Member. Since then, the Postmaster General understands the National Telephone Company, by arrangement with the Corporation, have doubled their telephone wires and placed them underground so as to meet the complaints of 1039 inefficiency, and he has reason I believe that the service has been considerably improved. He is still in communication with the Town Council; with the Telephone Subscribers' Committee; and with the National Company, on the subject of the Telephone service at Tunbridge Wells, and he is not at present in a position to come to a decision as to the course which he should adopt.
§ MR. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
asked if the right hon. Gentleman could give any indication when a decision might be expected; an early answer was promised to the deputation last May.