§ 42. Mr. BELLENGER
asked the Postmaster-General, seeing that prior to October, 1934, his Department made no charge to new subscribers for the installation of a telephone instrument, what are the reasons why his Department now makes a charge of 15s. to each new sub scriber in addition to the yearly rental; and whether he will revert to the previous practice of free installations?
§ Major TRYON
The system by which subscribers were required to deposit a minimum sum of £1 to cover the amount of calls made by them was abolished for new subscribers in October, 1934. This system, gave rise to many complaints, and was open to the objection that the more the telephone was used the greater was the amount required to be deposited. In its place a charge of 15s. in the case of a new installation, or a lesser sum if the premises are already wired for the telephone, was introduced to meet the costs of installation. The new arrangements have facilitated the greatly improved development that has taken place over the last two years, and I see no ground for reverting to the former system.
§ Mr. BELLENGER
Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that the 15s. now charged is not returnable to the subscribers, whereas the 20s. charged by way of deposit was certainly credited to them for telephone calls; and does he not think it desirable in the interests of the telephone service to do away with this pettifogging charge?
§ Major TRYON
No, Sir. This is all a matter of alternatives. There have been an enormous number of concessions in the last two years, and the concessions benefit not only those people but the whole of the subscribers throughout the country much more than would the proposal put forward by the hon. Member.