HC Deb 01 March 1972 vol 832 c395
23. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what effect the national emergency has had on the postal and telephone services.

Mr. Chataway

The Post Office tells me that interruptions to electricity supplies have caused some delays to both postal and telephone services; but there have been no really serious disruptions of service.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that we on this side of the House, at least, appreciate very much the efficiency with which the Post Office carried out its duties in the face of considerable difficulties? Would the Minister say whether there has been any costing of the exercise and whether it has cost the Post Office money and, if so, how it is proposed to recoup it?

Mr. Chataway

No significant increased costs have been incurred as a result of the dispute. I am sure that the Post Office will be grateful for what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Gorst

Has my right hon. Friend's attention been drawn to front page stories in today's Daily Mirror and Daily Express in which shocking increases in charges for telephones are forecast? Would he say whether those stories are true and, if so, whether they have any relationship to the national emergency?

Mr. Chataway

I hope, with permission, to answer a Written Question on this subject at the end of Question Time.