HC Deb 21 November 1968 vol 773 cc1505-6
3. Mr. Costain

asked the Postmaster General, in view of the effect on the export trade of the inadequacies of the telex service to the Continent, what action he is taking to improve the service.

Mr. Stonehouse

I am very conscious of the need for improvement. Additional equipment to improve and expand the overseas telex service has been on order for some time, but unfortunately all contracts are in serious delay. I am pressing the manufacturers to complete these contracts as early as possible. I am also increasing the staff at the International Telex Exchange.

Mr. Costain

Does the Postmaster-General appreciate that this Question was put down before the recent telex strike? Has his attention been drawn to the serious inconvenience to industry, which had no knowledge of this strike? The only way industry found out about the strike was when industry was not receiving cables, by which time orders were being lost What can the right hon. Gentleman do to make sure that it does not occur again?

Mr. Stonehouse

I regret that the labour dispute took place. It was an unofficial one. We were not aware that it was to take place until a day or so beforehand. I am sorry that some of our customers were affected by it. I hope that it will not occur again.