HC Deb 31 July 1962 vol 664 c387
3. Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Postmaster-General what restriction upon the making of telephone calls he is imposing upon new subscribers to the Amersham telephone exchange; for what reason he is making it; how long he expects it to last; and what reduction in rental he is making in consequence of it.

Miss Pike

I regret that we can only give a restricted service to new residential subscribers at Amersham because the exchange is heavily overloaded during parts of the day. Subscribers with restricted service undertake not to make calls between 9 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. on weekdays; they can receive calls at all times. Their rental is reduced by £1 a year. More switchboards are being installed in the exchange, and we hope to be able to remove the restriction early in 1963.

Mr. Bell

Does my hon. Friend realise that, while I am grateful that this restriction is to be removed in 1963 and not at a much later date which she first gave me, nevertheless a restriction of this kind is a most regrettable one so many years after the end of the war? Can my hon. Friend explain how it becomes necessary to impose such a restriction on new subscribers and also whether they will be able to make emergency calls during this period of the morning when they cannot make ordinary calls?

Miss Pike

The most important reason for this restriction in Amersham is the very rapid growth of population and the limitation on capital expenditure. Cables are going in as quickly as possible, and we hope to give a full service to everybody coming along. I can assure my hon. Friend that people can make emergency calls in this restricted service, and so should not have any difficulty in this respect.

Mr. Ross

Are the people who are subject to this restriction already subject to the restriction of party lines?

Miss Pike

I do not know how many of them are on party lines.