HC Deb 23 April 1952 vol 499 cc371-2
4. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the amount of the telephone account of his Department in the United Kingdom for the latest available year; and how many local and trunk calls, respectively, were represented by this sum.

Mr. Ward

Since payment in cash is not made to the General Post Office for telephone facilities provided for Government Departments in the United Kingdom, no accounts are rendered, nor are any details available to my Department of the numbers of local or trunk calls made.

Mr. Shepherd

Does not my hon. Friend think that, in the interests of economy, an attempt at accounting ought to be made, since it is commonly asserted that the waste of telephone service by the Air Ministry is colossal?

Mr. Ward

It is important to bear in mind that the vast bulk of the expenditure is on the radar chain, the meteorological services, flying control and that sort of thing and a relatively small part on telephones. I understand that the general question of a cash recovery by the Post Office from Government Departments is at present under consideration by the Treasury.