17. Colonel Dower
asked the Postmaster-General if he will consider the desirability of changing the present emergency telephone number 999 to one more easy to dial in the dark.
§ Mr. Wilfred Paling
The problem of fixing the best number for dialling emergency calls was exhaustively considered before 999 was decided on. It was regarded as essential that callers should be able to dial emergency calls from public call offices without the need for putting pennies in the box, but this would not be possible if any figures below 9 were used. The figure 9, being next to 0, can readily be found in the dark and I regret that I cannot agree to make any change.
Will the right hon. Gentleman when he goes to bed tonight turn out the light and, in the dark and in a somewhat disturbed state of mind, try to dial 999?