§ 68. Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the frequency of breakdowns and mechanical errors in the automatic dialling machines in the Sloane telephone exchange area; whether any steps are being taken to make these machines more efficient; and whether he will abolish the extra charge made for hand-microphone instruments in view of their liability to error?
§ Sir K. WOOD
My inquiries do not show that breakdowns and mechanical errors in the Sloane telephone exchange area have been unduly frequent. On the contrary, test calls which are made periodically indicate that the service at Sloane is satisfactory and compares favourably with that given at other London automatic exchanges. If my hon. Friend has information of any specific instances of difficulty and will let me have particulars, I shall be pleased to have them investigated. The dialling apparatus on the hand-microphone instrument is identical with that on the ordinary pedestal instrument, and I know of no reason for the suggestion that the former type is specially liable to error.
§ Sir W. BRASS
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this inefficiency is not confined to the Sloane Exchange and that the human element in other exchanges is far better than this mechanically operated thing?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I cannot assent to that view though, in some cases, a tuition course on an automatic telephone would be advisable.