HC Deb 02 April 1913 vol 51 cc388-90
107. Captain FABER

asked whether the funds granted by the Treasury for the experimental provision of rural party telephone lines are exhausted; and what steps are contemplated, if any, to extend them?

Captain NORTON

It is the case that the funds already authorised for the experimental provision of rural party lines have been allocated, but my right hon. Friend is in communication with the Treasury, and hopes to obtain a further Grant.


asked the Postmaster-General if he will grant an extension of the telephone service between Limerick, Rathkeale, and Newcastle West, the same as is granted to Kilmallock and other towns in the county of Limerick?

Captain NORTON

The inquiry which my right hon. Friend promised the hon. Member on the 12th February to make is not yet completed. He will, however, expedite the matter and will communicate with the hon. Member as soon as he is in a position to give him any definite information.

110. Major WHITE

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the constant errors in the telephone service between the figures 5 and 9, and of the loss of time caused to operators and the public by such errors, he will consider substituting for one of those figures some word, foreign designation or other, which will prevent confusion in the future?

Captain NORTON

Various suggestions have been considered from time to time with a view to overcome the difficulty arising from the similarity of sound in the numbers five and nine, but it has been found that the difficulties likely to be caused by any alternative are greater than those that exist at present. Special care is taken in the training of operators to impress upon them the importance of making a marked distinction in the pronunciation of the two numbers. The same difficulties arise in the telephone service in the United States, and the same conclusion has been arrived at.


Has consideration been given to the elimination of the nine?

Captain NORTON

Everything has been considered, and it is found that the best possible solution is to leave the matter as it stands.


Am I to understand that we have reached finality in the telephone service?