HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc1063-4
16. Mr. Channon

asked the Postmaster-General what progress is being made with the subscriber trunk dialling system throughout the country.

Miss Pike

We have provided 1½ million telephone subscribers with subscriber trunk dialling, representing more than one quarter of the total. We expect that 70 per cent. of all subscribers will have S.T.D. by 1966, and that 90 per cent. will have it by 1970.

Mr. Channon

Can my hon. Friend say whether or not she has found that this has, in the main, proved popular with subscribers or are they finding that their bills are mounting terribly?

Miss Pike

I think that I can assure the House that the subscriber trunk dialling system has proved popular with people. Before they get it they are rather apprehensive, but once they have it and receive their bills they realise that it is very good value.

Mr. Mason

Is not the hon. Lady aware that this is not proving correct and that her Department has been the subject of a great deal of public and Press criticism over S.T.D.? While most of my hon. Friends think that the mechanisation of dialling to this extent is a good thing, should not the Post Office do more to advertise the good points about the introduction of this system, rather than allow so much public criticism to come to the fore against the G.P.O.?

Miss Pike

I think the hon. Member is stressing the criticism that there is in many quarters about the timed local calls and not the advantages of the trunk calls. We are certainly doing everything we can in both respects to ensure that the general public have a system which satisfies them and gives them good value.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Can the Assistant Postmaster-General say when she expects a report on the working of S.T.D., as well as on the working of the Post Office, during the past year?

Miss Pike

I cannot give the hon. Member a date at the moment.

Mr. Williams

Will the hon. Lady try to find it out from her right hon. Friend in due course?