HC Deb 30 January 1957 vol 563 cc983-4
31. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Postmaster-General what representations he has made to the telephone companies operating radio-telephone circuits with Argentina and Brazil with a view to improving the telephone service with these countries and with what result.

Mr. Marples

Repeated proposals have been made to the telephone companies for longer services at more convenient times of the day. So far the companies have unfortunately not been able to arrange this, because their equipment has to be used for other services also. Further negotiations on possible measures to meet the need for improvement are now going on.

Mr. Davies

Whilst appreciating that the Postmaster-General has been taking steps to improve these services, does he fully appreciate at what inconvenient hours they are available, at great inconvenience to a large number of business men?

Mr. Marples

I realise that, Sir. although there have been no complaints from the Government Departments concerned—that is, the Board of Trade and the Foreign Office—we have asked the companies for two hours' longer service to both Argentina and Brazil. They have offered twenty-five minutes to Brazil only. We are pressing for more, and I am hoping to see them.

Mr. Hobson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is time that serious consideration was given to the laying of a submarine cable in the same way as has been done between New York and Great Britain and between Plymouth and South Africa in view of the developing traffic?

Mr. Marples

I will look into that, but there are negotiations going on now, both with the United States and Canada, in connection with the laying of further trans-oceanic submarine cables.

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