HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc1744-5
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.

Mr. Burke

Additional equipment for the automatic telephone exchange at Swindon is at present being manufactured, and a small manual switchboard is being installed to provide for new subscribers until the automatic equipment is available. Additional underground cables are also being provided.

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 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?

Mr. Burke

The rural areas have been well considered. In this particular area, out of 30 cases referred to the Ministry of Agriculture 19 telephones were put in.

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?

Mr. Burke

No, Sir, but we propose to do the other thing—try to improve the service.