HC Deb 20 May 1953 vol 515 cc2055-6
9. Sir H. Williams

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what arrangements he proposes to make to enable residents of Croydon to be able to dial telephone numbers in the London postal region when the new system of telephone directories comes into force.

Mr. Gammans

Business subscribers will get, in addition to their own county directory, the four volumes covering the London postal area and also the classified directory which will continue to cover the same area as at present. Residential subscribers who ask for the four London directory volumes will receive them free of charge.

11. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General to what extent the new telephone directories for the Greater London area will enable users of the telephone to find the common names, like Jones and Robinson, more easily.

Mr. Gammans

The most common name in the London telephone directory is Smith. There are nearly 40 pages of them in the present book. In the new directory for the London postal area there will be about 25 pages of Smiths, and not more than five pages in any of the new outer London directories. Incidentally, the Williams are now overhauling the Jones as one of the most common names in the Directory.

Wing Commander Bullus

Can my hon. Friend tell us what other steps he contemplates taking in this matter? For instance, does he intend to try and arrest this Welsh invasion of the Metropolis?

Mr. Gammans

As the House is aware, not all the Williams's in this country come from Wales, but it is certainly not part of my responsibility to suggest that Welshmen should stay in Wales. My hon. and gallant Friend may be comforted by the fact, however, that the Smiths, whom perhaps we may regard as Anglo-Saxons, are the most prolific family in the country and are increasing far more rapidly than any other.

Mr. C. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that it was the English who invaded the Metropolis and not the Welsh?

Sir H. Williams

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Williams's are the most numerous in this House?

29. Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether, when introducing the new telephone directories, he will arrange that subscribers in the London postal area are automatically issued with the telephone directory of the county area nearest to them, so that under this arrangement subscribers in North-West London will receive the North-West Middlesex telephone directory in which Edgware and Elstree appear, with which they have close association.

Mr. Gammans

No, Sir. The community of interest varies considerably between the fringe areas of the London postal area and the neighbouring counties, but any subscriber who wants the directory of a neighbouring county area or for that matter any other county area can have them if he asks for them.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Is my hon. Friend aware that where the boundary between the London postal area and the county area runs through the middle of a borough, grave inconvenience will be caused if the two halves of the area are not included in the London directory, and would he therefore inquire as to whether Edgware and Burnt Oak should not be included with the other parts of Hendon?

Mr. Gammans

The difficulty is that the boundary must be drawn somewhere. I do not think the inconvenience is as great as my hon. Friend suggests, because any subscriber who is in the county area can have all the four London volumes, if he asks for them, free of charge.