§ 17 and 18. Mr. Russell
asked the Postmaster-General (1) what plans he has for reducing the charges for telephone calls from the United Kingdom to Commonwealth countries, especially as many of the charges are the same irrespective of distance;
(2) what plans he has for reducing the charges for telephone calls between the United Kingdom and European countries.
§ Mr. Marples
Although anxious that our rates should be as low as possible, the present financial results of the overseas telephone services as a whole would not allow me to make any general reductions. The existing scales of charges—which have remained unchanged since the war—are, I believe, generally accepted as fair. The uniformity of our charges for Commonwealth services reflects the fact that, apart from the important Canadian link, these services are provided by radio, so that costs are largely independent of distance.
§ Mr. Russell
While thanking my right hon. Friend for his Answer, may I ask whether he can say why there are so few night rates, except to Canada, and when will it be possible to have more, particularly in countries in roughly the same longitude?