§ 57. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the present telephonic conditions at Nottingham, and especially of the delay often experienced in effecting communication between that city and Leicester, he can complete the construction of the three additional lines between the two cities before the end of the current year; what measures have been taken to guard against a repetition of the inattentions, which led to such 1426 serious consequences on the occasion of the fire at Jacoby's factory, Daybrook, on the-24th May; whether he has noticed that a similar case occurred at Chislehurst on 29th June; and what remedy subscribers have in such eases for loss directly attributable to the failure of the telephone under Government management?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Arrangements are being made to complete the new trunk lines between Nottingham and Leicester before the end of the year. I am in communication with the Telephone Advisory Committee at Nottingham with respect to the telephone calls in connection with the fire at Messrs. Jacoby's factory. The facts were, no doubt unavoidably, somewhat misunderstood at the time of the newspaper-reports of the occurrence. As regards the case at Chislehurst, it will be clear from the facts I stated in an answer in this House, on the 14th instant, that no blame attached to the Telephone Department. I think that the system of test calls and surprise visits to exchanges is the best method of ensuring the attention of the night staff, and these checks will be fully maintained at Nottingham, as well as elsewhere.
§ 61. Sir WALTER MENZIES
asked the Postmaster-General whether arrangements will be made soon and, if so, at what date, to give Strathaven a direct telephone service, viâ Stonehouse and Lark hall, to Glasgow, as the present circuitous route viâ Lesmahagow and Lanark is unable promptly or adequately to undertake the business being done; and whether an offer of twenty new subscribers in Strathaven and Stonehouse would cause him to accelerate the construction of the new line?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Arrangements are being made to connect Strathaven direct with Hamilton for Glasgow calls, this being a more satisfactory arrangement than a line viâ Stonehouse to Larkhall. I am prepared to open an exchange at Stonehouse if fifteen subscribers are forthcoming at that place. A canvass which was made last year resulted in only eight agreements, but a further effort will be made to obtain the required support, and I will communicate the result to the hon. Member.