HC Deb 07 February 1940 vol 357 cc192-3
17. Brigadier-General Sir Henry Croft

asked the Postmaster-General whether he can give any information as to the use of the speaking-clock service and the prospects of extending the service to the whole country?

Major Tryon

The speaking-clock service is now available in London and 12 other large towns, and nearly half of the total number of telephone subscribers in the country have access to the service at a fee of 1d. The use of the service increased from 12,250,000 to 24,500,000 calls a year up to the outbreak of war. Since then, the demand has fallen slightly as a result of evacuation and other causes, but the figures are now again steadily increasing. A wide extension of the service was being arranged when war broke out. There may be some difficulty in carrying out these plans in full under war conditions, but I propose to continue to extend the service as plant can be made available.