HC Deb 24 October 1956 vol 558 c643
49. Lieut-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Postmaster General how many cases of telephones being cut off due to non-payment of charge have occurred in the last three years; in how many cases this has been due to the absence from home of the subscriber when the bills have been received; and whether he will instruct his officials either to allow greater time for paying the charge or ensure that the non-payment is unavoidable.

Mr. Alport

The numbers of cases of telephones having been cut off due to non-payment of charges in the last three years are about 400,000, representing approximately 2 per cent. of the accounts sent out. We have no information about how many of these cases arise from the absence from home of the subscriber.

We rely on subscribers to help us to safeguard the telephone revenue by prompt payment of their accounts, but my right hon. Friend has arranged for an extension of the normal time at present allowed for payment, and I believe that this will meet the point my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind, as well as securing a substantial reduction in the numbers cut off, which the House will agree would be most desirable.