HC Deb 06 April 1914 vol 60 cc1603-4
43. Major HOPE

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that seven months ago many inhabitants of David-son's Mains, Midlothian, signed telephone agreements, which were accepted by the Department, and that the names and telephone numbers of those subscribers are included in the January Telephone Directory; if he will state whether the Department have yet commenced laying the cable or secured premises at Davidson's Mains for an exchange; and on what date it may be expected that telephone facilities will be actually provided?


Offers to rent Exchange lines were received from a number of residents at Davidson's Mains some months ago, and, as it was hoped to open an Exchange early this year, the names of the subscribers were included in the current Telephone Directory. Premises have been secured, but the connection of the Exchange with the Edinburgh system will be by means of an underground cable included in a large scheme of underground extensions in the direction of Forth Bridge, which cannot be completed for four or five months, although every effort will be made to expedite the operations.

Major HOPE

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure me that negotiations will be completed within four months?


I stated that it cannot be completed for four or five months, although every effort will be made to expedite the operations.


asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the total number of telephones working in the United Kingdom at 31st December, 1912, and at 31st December, 1913, respectively?


Number of Telephones, exchange and private, in the United Kingdom.
Post Office System.
(1) At 31st December, 1912 721,297
At 31st December, 1913 764,229

(2) The Post Office also maintains 2,100 telephones—the property of railway companies, etc.

(3) The telephones owned by the Hull and Portsmouth Corporations and the States of Guernsey number about 8,000.


asked how many telephone exchanges there remain in the United Kingdom without continuous service, day and night, throughout the week (Sundays included)?


There are at present 430 telephone exchanges in the United Kingdom where a continuous service, day and night (Sundays included), is not yet afforded, but the number is being steadily reduced. In many cases the break in continuity of service is of very short duration.


asked how many subscribers have been connected to the rural telephone service during the past year; what is the total number of subscribers to this class of telephone service; how many applications for such service are at present on hand; in how many districts of the country are facilities in existence for the supply of this class of telephone service; and what is the total capacity, in terms of subscribers' telephones, of the facilities actually available?


In addition to the ordinary subscribers to the very numerous exchanges in rural districts, 1,053 subscribers were provided with a rural party-line service during the year ended the 28th February last. The number of subscribers at present connected, or being connected, with this class of telephone service is about 2,280 in 293 districts. About 960 further applications are at present on hand. The facilities available at existing exchanges for service of this kind can without difficulty be indefinitely increased as the demand arises.