HC Deb 09 February 1972 vol 830 cc1326-7
25. Mr. Spearing

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he will give a general direction to the Post Office to prevent the commercial practice of telephone selling.

Mr. Chataway

No, Sir.

Mr. Spearing

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this sort of thing is not what the telephone service was originally installed for and that there are undesirable features of the practice? Will he reconsider that answer?

Mr. Chataway

The Post Office has no power to prevent the use of telephones for this purpose. Therefore, I do not think it is for me to approve or disapprove of the practice. There is certainly nothing unlawful about using the telephone for this purpose.

Mr. Rost

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I first raised this matter of the increasing abuse of the telephone system during the passage of the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act? Will he have words with his colleagues at the Department of Trade and Industry to see whether the Act can be amended to stop this increasing nuisance and protect the public?

Mr. Chataway

I am sure my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will take note of what my hon. Friend says.