HC Deb 11 May 1960 vol 623 cc388-9
4. Mr. Tilney

asked the Postmaster-General what steps the Post Office has taken to make available to the public a loud-speaker equipment for the telephone to enable several people to carry on a single telephone conversation.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Reginald Bevins)

I am glad to say that I hope to have loud-speaking telephones on the market later this year. I am not yet in a position to announce all the details, but will do so as soon as possible.

Mr. Tilney

Many telephone subscribers, who are tired of being little more than telephone rests for about half the conversation, will be delighted to hear what my right hon. Friend says. May I ask whether the equipment will be sold at a reasonably cheap price?

Mr. Bevins

Yes; there will be three types of equipment, some simple and some rather less simple. My present information is that the rentals will range from about £8 to £20 a year.

Mr. Ness Edwards

May I ask why it has taken all these years to produce this equipment?

Mr. Bevins

It has involved a lot of complicated research, but we are now at the end of the road and we shall have them on the market later this year.

Captain Pilkington

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is an appalling suggestion and that telephone conversations last quite long enough as it is?

Mr. Bevins

There is no suggestion that telephone conversations should last longer—

Captain Pilkington

They will.

Mr. Bevins

—but that people ought to be able to listen to telephone conversations without holding the instrument.

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