HC Deb 03 July 1951 vol 489 cc2134-5
35. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that the basement telephone booths are not sound proof; and whether he will take steps to deal with this inconvenience.

Mr. G. Brown

The basement telephone booths are reasonably sound proof, provided that the doors are properly closed. The answer to the second part of the Question is, therefore, "No, Sir."

Sir T. Moore

That is just not true. The right hon. Gentleman must be well aware, if he has used these telephone booths, of the embarrasment that can be caused by these mechanical devices; and will he take immediate steps to go down into the basement telephone booths and try to conduct a conversation which will not be overheard by his next door neighbour, irrespective of whether the doors are closed or not?

Mr. Brown

A lot depends upon the voice one uses when speaking on the telephone. I have used these telephones quite a bit myself. Since this Question was put down I have been there, and I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that if he only shuts the door he will find that he can have a reasonably private conversation.

Mr. Sandys

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the possibility of providing rather more telephones in a more accessible part of the House?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir. One of the things that strikes me in this job is that all sorts of people can spend all their time thinking up all sorts of new ways of spending money about this Palace. I think that on the whole the number of telephones here is adequate.