HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 c446
36. Mr. Mason

asked the Postmaster-General how many vehicles have been fitted with a telephone instrument; if he is satisfied with the progress of this service; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Pike

I think the hon. Member has in mind the experimental radiophone service in South Lancashire. Fifty-four vehicles are now fitted with these telephones. The service is growing, but not as rapidly as I should like. Nor is it as yet economic. As to our future plans, I would refer the hon. Member to the detailed information which the Postmaster-General is circulating in today's OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Mason

Is not the hon. Lady aware that it is not growing because it is not a satisfactory service? Is she not aware that a customer has to pay £200 for a set, it costs £30 in licence fees, and 10d. per minute to use, and that there is no privacy, no secrecy in using this telephone instrument? It is commonplace to listen in on cotton deals, sales of machinery, and private and intimate personal conversations. If the hon. Lady does not do something about ensuring secrecy on these telephone instruments, then telephone tapping in this service may even become a business.

Miss Pike

This new service is having teething troubles, but my right hon. Friend is looking at it carefully.