HC Deb 05 May 1948 vol 450 c1260
40. Mrs. Castle

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will consider the possibility of adapting the domestic telephone instrument so that it can be disconnected by the subscriber during the night or at any other time that calls are likely to prove an inconvenience.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

I regret that it is not possible to devise any reasonably simple arrangement which would enable subscribers to disconnect their telephones at will without seriously interfering with the service generally. Subscribers' lines could be disconnected at the exchange, when desired, subject to suitable notice and to payment of a charge to cover the work involved.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that such a device would be widely welcomed and that what people do at present to get rid of this tyranny is to take the receiver off the hook, which causes a lot of inconvenience to the exchange and to incoming callers? Would it not be simpler to institute such a device?

Mr. Paling

The inconvenience caused by adopting the suggestion made by the hon. Lady might be more appreciable.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is not the correct explanation not that the Minister is not willing, but that he has not the materials to meet the demand?