HC Deb 02 December 1959 vol 614 cc1181-2
45. Lady Gammans

asked the Postmaster-General if he will supply cheaper telephones to old-age pensioners living alone, to whom the use of a telephone is essential on medical grounds.

Mr. Bevins

I have much sympathy with elderly people in such circumstances, but it has never been found practicable for the Post Office to apply differential telephone charges to particular groups. I am ready to look at this again but frankly I doubt whether I shall be able to find a way by which the Post Office can meet the hon. Member's proposal.

Lady Gammans

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he is not aware that many old people regard the telephone as their only means of calling the doctor when they are living alone? Will he look more sympathetically on this vital matter to old people?

Mr. Bevins

I have indicated my sympathetic approach and my willingness to re-examine the matter.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is not it possible to fit a bell?

Mr. Ness Edwards

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the best way of meeting the need is by reducing the telephone charges?