HC Deb 28 January 1913 vol 47 cc1186-8

asked the Post master-General when he will introduce the system of charging telephone users by zone, which he is now considering?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

This question is being considered in connection with the general revision of rates for telephone service which is now receiving my attention.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give us no idea as to when this will be decided: it is important?


No, I am afraid I cannot at present fix the date. The matter is an extremely complicated and a very important one. I should not like to give a hurried decision.


asked the Post master-General if he will explain why, in the scale of trunk telephone charges, the rising scale of 3d. for each twenty-five miles changes after 100 miles and is then increased, so that after 100 miles one pays at the rate of 3d. per twenty miles, and in addition one can only advance by forty miles at a time instead of by twenty-five miles?


The difference in the proportionate rates of charge for distances exceeding one hundred miles, as compared with the charges for shorter distances, was based on the relatively high cost of construction of long trunk lines, and on the great risk of interruptions, which increase the cost of maintenance and impair the traffic and earning capacities of the lines.


Will that be done away with, may I ask, when the zone system is established?


The whole of the facts will be taken into consideration. I cannot definitely say that it will or will not be done away with. But the technical considerations that I have mentioned in my answer will still apply.

83. Mr. NEWMAN

asked the Post master-General whether he will take action with regard to the delay that has occurred in the installation of telephones in private residences in Enfield and New Southgate; and whether he is aware that, on 7th October, 1911, a resident in Beacons-field Road, New Southgate, signed an agreement on the request of a traveller employed by the Post Office authorities, and that since that date, in spite of repeated applications, the authorities have failed to instal the telephone, though a communication has been sent to house holders in the district pointing out how desirable it is that telephones should be installed in their houses?


The delay in installing telephones in the Enfield district has been due to want of accommodation at the local exchange when taken over from the National Telephone Company. An extension, however, is nearly completed and will be available in the course of the next month. I am unable to trace among the applications for telephone service from residents in Beaconsfield Road, New Southgate, one made on the 7th October, 1911. Some general delay has occurred at New Southgate owing to the difficulty in obtaining the concurrence of the Middlesex Councils Association in a general arrangement as to the conditions on which telephone lines should be carried along roads controlled by Middlesex councils. Unfortunately, the association has not accepted the scheme, and each case has now to be settled separately.