HC Deb 29 June 1914 vol 64 cc15-6

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that for a considerable time the guardians of Elham Union have been desirous of obtaining telephone communication between Folkestone and the workhouse at Lyminge, and that, in correspondence on the subject extending over two years, the local manager of the telephone system has given four different quotations for the annual rental to be required for such communication, of which quotations the last three were all accepted by the guardians without delay, but that the guardians have now been informed that the desired facilities can only be given if two additional subscribers are first secured in Lyminge; and whether, having regard to the fact that the workhouse at Lyminge is practically a Folkestone institution, and that there are numerous telephone subscribers in Folkestone, he will take steps without delay to provide the connection desired by the guardians in the interests of the proper management of the workhouse?


I understand that quotations for an exchange line to the Cheriton Exchange were given to the guardians of Eltham Union first by the National Telephone Company, and subsequently by the Post Office. The Post Office has since had under consideration the establishment of an exchange at Lyminge, and more favourable terms have been offered for a connection with that exchange. A little more support is necessary to enable me to authorise the provision of the proposed exchange, and there seems reason to think that it will be found shortly.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the early correspondence on the question the point was never taken by the Post Office that further support was necessary, and that the whole matter turned on the question of notice?


I do not carry the general correspondence in my mind, but if that is so it is most unusual.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the fact that male night telephone operators at Grimsby are compelled to work at least part of every Sunday throughout the whole of the year; if it is his intention to continue this practice; and, if not, what steps he intends taking to bring about reform, and when?


The night telephonists at Grimsby perform duty on each Sunday, but they are free from duty on another day in the week. The hours of the class are fixed without discrimination between Sundays, public or Bank Holidays and ordinary working days, and the recent Select Committee approved this arrangement subject to the proviso that twenty-four hours in each week should be entirely free of duty. I am taking steps to ensure that this latter requirement is fulfilled.