§ Mr. FIENNES
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the number of telephone trunk lines unoccupied except during the busiest hours of the day, he can see his way to offer facilities for the use of such lines at reduced rates at other times?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
It has for some years been the practice to allow the use of telephone trunk lines for double periods at the ordinary fees or for single periods at half the ordinary fees between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. I am glad to be able to state that more recently I have also arranged to allow the use of telephone trunk lines during the less busy hours of the day under monthly contracts for daily periods of fifteen minutes or more on payment at the following rates: For the first or second quarter-hour period, three-quarters of the ordinary rates, according 2965W to the time occupied; for the third and fourth quarter-hour periods, one-half of the ordinary rates; and for each additional quarter-hour period, one-quarter of the ordinary rates. The times for which such arrangements can be made must necessarily depend upon the demands of the ordinary trunk service, but as a rule special contracts can be accepted for the use of lines before 9 or 9.30 a.m.; between 1 and 2 p.m., and after 4.30 or 5 p.m., and I hope that the arrangement will be of considerable use to those business undertakings which require to have two or more establishments in different towns, as for instance, where communication is necessary between the London and provincial offices of a newspaper or between the London office and a provincial factory of a manufacturing business. Saturdays and Sundays may, if desired, be excluded from the contracts. For long periods of not less than six hours between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. still more favourable rates of charge are in force, based on the actual length of the line used. The rates are as follows:—For six hours' use, £2 10s. per mile per annum; and for twelve hours' use, £3 10s. per mile per annum. For periods of between six and twelve hours the charge is as for six hours with an addition of 5s. per mile per annum up to a maximum of £3 10s.
§ Mr. VINCENT KENNEDY
asked the Postmaster-General when the trunk telephone system will be extended to Cavan; when were the necessary guarantees given; and will he state the cause of the delay?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
A canvass to ascertain the amount of support forthcoming at Cavan for an extension of the telephone trunk system to that town has just been completed, and I am glad to find that I shall be able to carry out the extension at once if a guarantee on the usual basis is forthcoming. The necessary guarantee has not yet been given, but the local authorities at Cavan are being approached in the matter. There has been no delay beyond what was necessary for the canvass at Cavan. The extension will be by way of Clones and in continuation of an extension from Monaghan to that place which is now being carried out under a local guarantee.