HC Deb 22 July 1959 vol 609 cc1248-9
8. Mr. Robert Cooke

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will now give further information about the reaction of telephone users in Bristol to the new trunk dialling system.

Mr. K. Thompson

We have now analysed the 1,700 replies which we received from Bristol subscribers to our questionnaire inviting their comments on subscriber trunk dialling. I am glad to find that an overwhelming majority express a preference for the new system. They like it because it is quicker and cheaper. Altogether, 90 per cent. say they are taking advantage of the new tariff for short calls, 30 per cent. say they are making more calls, and over 70 per cent. approve the timing of local calls in conjunction with the decrease in the charge from 3d. to 2d.

Altogether I think this is a most encouraging reception for the first installation of this new system and I congratulate the Bristol subscribers on the success with which they are using it.

Mr. Cooke

While thanking my hon. Friend for that encouraging reply, the contents of which I can confirm from my own experience, may I ask whether he can tell the House what financial advantage it has brought to the Post Office and how the increased income is to be spent?

Mr. Thompson

Curiously, there is no very great financial advantage to the Post Office so far. The number of trunk calls on this exchange has increased by about 40 per cent. but as a result of subscribers using their own judgment in limiting the time of their calls, our revenue has been just about maintained.

Mr. M. Stewart

Has any percentage of the subscribers expressed a wish to have the Post Office denationalised?

Mr. Thompson

That was one of the questions which we did not put to them.