HC Deb 07 June 1972 vol 838 cc434-5
10. Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what is the latest percentage of dialled calls connected accurately on the first dialling attempt.

Sir J. Eden

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply my predecessor gave to him on 1st March.—[Vol. 832. c. 105.]

Mr. Huckfield

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is an increasing number of local, national STD and international ISD calls for which, because of the inaccuracies of the dialling mechanism, it is becoming quicker to go via the operator? Is it a fact that this will not improve until 1980 or is this some new subtle way of making the postal services more profitable?

Sir J. Eden

No, Sir. The last part of that supplementary question is not justified. As the hon. Gentleman knows from the previous answer, the percentage for 1970–71 was 8.7 for STD while for dialled local calls the percentage was 3.4. I cannot give more recent figures because we must await the board's latest annual report.

Mr. Gorst

Has my right hon. Friend examined ways in which, apart from the Post Office, other organisations might be brought in to produce resources which might help not only to improve the efficiency of the telephone service at the peripheral subscriber apparatus end but also to produce new ideas so that the Post Office may concentrate on trunk and exchange equipment, which is really at the root of this problem?

Sir J. Eden

Quite substantial advances have already been made in the range of choice available to users of peripheral equipment, but I am not satisfied that that is by any means the end of the possibilities. The major part of the improvement which all hon. Members want to take place rests of course with improving the exchange equipment itself, and there are major investment decisions to be taken in that regard.