HC Deb 26 April 1961 vol 639 cc396-7
9. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Postmaster-General if he is satisfied that private telephone users have been fully informed of the revised scale and arrangement for telephone charges; what information he has about the effect of the present charge scale and arrangements on the length of calls and increase of accounts compared with the previous position; and what representations he has had urging a further revision.

Mr. Bevins

I go to considerable lengths to inform subscribers about S.T.D. before the system is introduced at any particular exchange.

So far, a comparison between the periods immediately before and after S.T.D. shows that the duration of both trunk and local calls tends to shorten, that more calls are made and that the average bill for calls is slightly less.

I have had no respresentations about the new charges for trunk calls. As regards local calls, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 19th April to my hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Sir Richard Pilkington), and to my reply of 1st February to the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. D. Foot).

Mr. Sorensen

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that his previous reply to another Question today implied that insufficient has been done to draw the attention of the public to the scales and to the system now introduced? In those circumstances, and in view of his implicit admission, what else will the right hon. Gentleman do to make the information more easily available?

Mr. Bevins

I am quite satisfied that we go to considerable lengths to tell the public in those areas where S.T.D. is about to come into operation what the system is all about, and what the charges are, and so forth, and in a general sense quite a lot of information has been disseminated by the Post Office to the public at large. I think that quite a general understanding is developing of how the system works.