HC Deb 24 July 1957 vol 574 cc402-3
18. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General what proposals he has for increasing the use of the telephone service.

Mr. Marples

Subject to the service paying its way and to the availability of capital, our policy is to increase the use of the telephone service. I hope that more calls will be made when the range of the 3d. call is extended next January. The weather service is being extended, the cricket test score service is very popular, and new submarine cables will foster the use of the international service, as has the highly successful Transatlantic telephone cable.

Mr. Hughes

Will the Minister tell us what steps he has taken to restore confidence in telephone users whose telephones are tapped? Could he tell us what he does to protect telephone users from tapping by people? Has he consulted anybody at all, and does not he think he could make some money for his Department if he had the initiative to put on the market an untappable telephone?

Mr. Marples

I am sure that the hon. Member would like the introduction of an untappable telephone. There is no charge for the service of tapping.

Mr. P. Williams

Can my right hon. Friend make any comparison between the charges imposed by the General Post Office on the one side and Hull on the other?

Mr. Marples

I cannot do that, because the two systems are not comparable. Hull is a very dense area and has no rural telephones, which we have to subsidise.

Mr. S. Silverman

Reverting to the subject of tapped telephones, will the right hon. Gentleman, if he cannot accept my hon. Friend's very reasonable suggestion, at any rate mitigate the evil by making sure that in future people whose telephones are tapped are charged only as for a shared telephone?

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