§ 5. Mr. Thomas Reid
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if steps can be taken to extend the exchange equipment at the Swindon telephone exchange, and to lay additional underground cables to serve the Swindon district.
§ 12. Mr. Osborne
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General how many applications for new telephones in North Lincolnshire are now over 12 months old; what are the main reasons for the delay; and what are the prospects for a speeding-up of new services.
§ Mr. Burke
About 560 applications for telephone service in North Lincolnshire are over 12 months old. Two hundred and eighty of these are waiting for provision of 1745 new underground cables, and 90 for extension of exchange equipment. The remainder are held up because of the large amount of overhead construction work involved in each case. It is hoped that about 300 of these applications will be met within the next six or nine months.
§ Mr. Osborne
in view of the fact that some of these applications are over five years old, will the hon. Gentleman see that when the appliances come through, rural areas will not be put at a disadvantage?
§ 16. General Sir George Jeffreys
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there is widespread dissatisfaction on account of the delays and inaccuracies of the telegraphic service; and what steps he is taking to secure more accurate transmission and prompt delivery of telegrams.
§ Mr. Burke
Since the hon. and gallant Member asked a similar Question in April of last year, there has been a material improvement in the telegraph service. There is, unfortunately, still a shortage of messenger delivery force and some of our telegraph staff lack experience, but every effort is being made to secure further improvement.
§ Sir G. Jeffreys
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in country districts telegrams are telephoned from head office, sometimes many miles away, with the result that there are often inaccuracies in the message? Will he consider reducing the charge for this very unsatisfactory service?