HC Deb 09 December 1959 vol 615 cc501-2
21. Mr. Channon

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that on telephone accounts it is extremely difficult to check details of local calls made; and whether, in future, he will ensure that full details appear on such accounts.

Mr. Bevins

It would not be possible to give full details as my hon. Friend suggests. More than 3,500 million local calls are made annually. The charges for each line are recorded on a meter at the exchange and only the total of chargeable units for each line is known.

Mr. Channon

While appreciating the difficulties of this, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he agrees that the method of presenting Post Office accounts at the moment is one which very often causes general dissatisfaction—

Mr. Ross

Which is getting worse.

Mr. Channon

—because people do not feel they have any method of checking whether they have or have not made the calls they are alleged to have made? I wonder if my right hon. Friend will look into this to see if something can be done.

Mr. Bevins

There may be some little dissatisfaction with telephone accounts, especially their amounts, of course, but I do not think it arises largely from charges for local calls. It is for a technical reason that it would not be possible to do as my hon. Friend suggests.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the question of inclusive charges to get rid of this immense accounting which is done in connection with local calls?

Mr. Bevins

Yes, that is a suggestion—one of many—I have under consideration.

Back to