HC Deb 30 November 1920 vol 135 cc1116-8

asked the Post-master-General whether he is aware that there are well over 100 persons in Bourne mouth who, having applied for telephones over a year ago, have not yet got them; that the delay in Branksome Park, Bournemouth, has been ascribed by the Post Office to there being no more room on the exchange switch, but that the erection of a telephone exchange at Can-ford Cliffs would relieve the difficulty; whether a switch has just been erected at Canford Cliffs which will only take 100 subscribers, still leaving many applicants unsatisfied; and can he hold out any hope that his questioner will possess a telephone at an early date?


I am informed that there are only twenty applications for telephones at Bournemouth which have been outstanding for twelve months. Most of these can be met soon by rearrangements at Bournemouth consequent on the opening of the new exchange at Canford Cliffs. An extension of the switchboard at Canford Cliffs has been authorised. I hope that a circuit can be provided for my hon. Friend at an early date.


asked the Postmaster-General what is the average time that elapses between an application for the installation of a telephone in the London area and its approval and fulfilment by his Department?


No average figure is available. Where there are spare wires in the undeground cables and spare equipment at the Exchange, the installation should be completed within two or three weeks of the signing of the agreement. But in many parts of the London area there is still a shortage of underground cables and Exchange plant which must necessarily take a considerable time to make good. No order is accepted unless there is a possibility of completing the work within three months.


In view of the tremendous impediment to business through delays in installation will my right hon. Friend ask the Postmaster-General, who is absent from causes which we all regret, to look into the matter and see if it is not possible to make a further acceleration of telephone installations to something like a week instead of six months as at present?


I will put before my right hon. Friend what the Noble Lord has said. May I say that, having had some experience during the last five years in this position, one must realise, seeing that practically no work was done for five years, there is now a great accumulation, and it can only be done rather slowly in consequence.