HC Deb 02 August 1944 vol 402 cc1373-4
35. Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that in Brighton and Hove telephone subscribers dial "O" in case of emergency and also for trunk calls; that on a busy evening due to lack of staff it takes up to 30 minutes after dialling to obtain an answer from the operator who takes calls in strict rotation; and whether he can devise a method whereby the local telephone operators can distinguish between emergency and trunk calls.

Captain Crookshank

Yes, Sir, and I am aware that, at present, the service given in the evening at the Brighton and Hove telephone exchange is poor, but I understand that delays of 30 minutes in obtaining attention are the exception rather than the rule. As regards the last part of the Question, I fear that shortage of labour and materials will prevent the proposed extension of the emergency system now in use in London until after the war: in the meanwhile I can only appeal once again to the public to telephone less in order to leave the lines free for more urgent calls.