HC Deb 23 November 1949 vol 470 cc333-4
5. Mr. John E. Haire

asked the Postmaster-General how many telephones for which a rental is paid are not in actual use; how many telephone subscribers there are who, for calls made, pay less than £1, £3, £5 per annum, respectively; and whether any better use of existing installations can be made.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

I regret that the information asked for is not readily available. Experience, however, shows that the payment made for calls from a particular telephone is not a reliable measure of the usefulness of the telephone. Many lines are heavily used for incoming calls.

Mr. Haire

While appreciating the point which my right hon. Friend makes about incoming calls, may I ask whether some of these installations could be called in, after due notice, of course, and used by the half million applicants who have been waiting a long time? Is it not a fact that some of these telephones are completely forgotten?

Mr. Paling

If we attempt to do that I can see a lot of difficulties arising.

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