HC Deb 07 March 1938 vol 332 cc1531-2
65. Sir R. W. Smith

asked the Postmaster-General whether all district nursing associations are charged the business rate of hire for their telephones; and, if so, whether he will consider the question of charging them the lower private telephone rate?

Sir W. Womersley

Telephones rented by associations and listed in their names in the telephone directory are charged at the business rate. A telephone in the house of a nurse is charged at the residence rate, provided that nursing is not carried on in the premises and that the telephone directory entry makes no reference to the subscriber's profession. I regret that I am unable to make a further concession. I could not discriminate between one class of telephone subscriber and another.

Sir R. W. Smith

Would the Postmaster-General not consider the question? I understand from the reply that if it is in the name of the association the telephone would have to be paid for at a higher rate. Surely it is not asking too much that it should be treated as a private telephone, in view of the very few calls that are put through?

Sir W. Womersley

My right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General has given very careful consideration to these matters, because he is very sympathetic towards charitable institutions; but there are difficulties in discriminating between what is a charitable institution and what is not.