HC Deb 19 June 1928 vol 218 cc1580-1

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that in many cases village nurses are not able to instal telephones in their homes because they cannot afford the higher professional tariff; and whether he will consider exempting them from the restriction requiring that no description of their profession may be entered in the directory if under the cheaper residential rate, in order to facilitate prompt assistance in urgent cases of illness in country districts?

18 and 21. Viscount SANDON

asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he will arrange for village nurses to be charged on the lower (private) scale for the rent of a telephone instead of on the higher (trade) rate as at present;

(2) whether he will take steps to see that all district nurses in rural areas shall have a telephone installation?

Viscount WOLMER

My right hon. Friend feels that he is unable to discriminate between one class of telephone subscriber and another. He receives many applications for exceptional treatment and could not fairly distinguish between them.

Commander BELLAIRS

Does not the Noble Lord see that this very desirable reform is very distinct from all other cases?

Viscount WOLMER

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that if we allowed parish nurses to have their telephones at special rates we should be granting a facility which we at present deny to farmers, doctors, and chemists, and it would be very difficult to refuse an application from them.


Is it not the case that these facilities are not for the convenience of nurses, but for the convenience of many people, for whom the attendance of a nurse is a matter of life and death?


Is the Noble Lord not aware that this is very often a matter of life and death?

Viscount WOLMER

Yes, Sir, but that does not alter the fact that it would be very difficult for the Post Office to justify giving the same service to one subscriber at rates different from another.


In view of the position occupied by doctors, chemists, and nurses, will not the Noble Lord reconsider the matter?

Viscount WOLMER

I shall be happy to discuss the matter with my hon. Friend.