§ 19 and 20. Mr. GLOSSOP
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether there has been any appreciable increase of night telephone calls from England to the Channel Islands since the reduction in charges took place;
(2) whether he is aware that at the present time there is a delay of approximately two hours during the evening periods in obtaining from the Channel Islands a telephone subscriber in England; whether he can state how many lines there are from England to the Channel Islands; and whether he proposes to increase the number of lines?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Major Tryon)
Since the reduction of trunk telephone charges, night calls between Great Britain and the Channel Islands have increased by more than 100 per cent. Traffic on the route in question is seasonal in character; and at times, when the traffic is particularly heavy, abnormal delays are unfortunately inevitable. My hon. Friend may rest assured, however, that all possible steps are being taken to reduce these delays to a minimum. To supplement the existing cable, arrangements have recently been made to provide a second circuit by means of an experimental radio-telephone channel which has met with fair success and is being developed with the object of giving full service throughout the day. Arrangements are also being made to provide an additional circuit between the islands of Guernsey and Jersey.
§ Mr. GLOSSOP
May I ask my right hon. and gallant Friend whether the new experimental line will be in working order for next year's holiday season?
§ Major TRYON
I cannot name a date. It is in the experimental stage, and we hope it will be successful.
§ 22. Captain CUNNINGHAM - REID
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that telephone toll calls after 7 p.m. are still subject in numerous cases to grave delays; and what steps he is prepared to take to remedy this state of affairs, either by the engagement of additional night telephone operators or otherwise?
§ Major TRYON
The popularity of long-distance calls after 7 p.m. continues to grow and there is additional pressure of traffic at present owing to seasonal conditions. The situation is being carefully watched, and I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that no effort is being spared to improve the general speed of service after 7 p.m. Instructions have been issued for the employment of additional night staff where justified.