HC Deb 11 April 1946 vol 421 c2068
9. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what steps he is taking to make a refund to telephone subscribers whose lines have been out of action so much in the last 12 months.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Burke)

The rental for a telephone line leaves no margin for rebates in respect of incidental interruptions of service; but I am always prepared to consider any individual case where circumstances may have been exceptional.

10. Mr. W. Shepherd

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will now eliminate the extra charge for the hand microphone type telephone, as against the candlestick variety.

Mr. Burke

I hope that it will be possible fairly soon to provide hand microphones free of charge whenever new telephones are installed I am afraid, however, that, in view of the acute shortage of labour and the large amount of work to be done in meeting the wartime arrears of applications for telephone service. it will be quite impossible to undertake for a considerable time the work of replacing existing subscribers' candlestick telephones by hand microphones.

Mr. Shepherd

Is the Minister aware that this will give satisfaction, and will he see that other improvements in the telephone service are not kept from 10 to 15 years before coming into public use?

Mr. Burke

There is no desire to keep back any improvements. The difficulty here is largely one of labour supply which the Post Office has to meet along with other Departments.