HC Deb 27 July 1960 vol 627 c1633
16. Mr. Lipton

asked the Postmaster-General to what extent the system of timed local calls in Bristol and elsewhere has been successful; and what additional revenue has accrued thereby.

Mr. Bevins

I believe that the public are well satisfied with the system. They are making more calls. About three-q carters are costing only 2d. instead of 3d. as previously. Local call revenue has so far remained about the same.

Mr. Lipton

Is the Minister aware that this system is found by many people to be a rather burdensome imposition, especially when they telephone large organisations, hospitals and so on, and they are kept waiting on the line until the right person is found to produce the required information? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some hospitals ask callers to leave their telephone number and then telephone back, so that the Postmaster-General gets paid for two calls?

Mr. Bevins

I should like to think about the point concerning cost to hospitals. On the general question, however, I think that the House would agree that it is wholly a good thing that people who are prepared to make short telephone conversations should get them more cheaply.