§ Mr. BARNSTON
asked the Postmaster-General the average time taken for the installation of a telephone in the London area from the date of application; and if he can state whether it is the usual practice to install the instrument and not connect the wires till at least a fortnight has elapsed?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
From a Return winch I have had taken in respect of exchange lines ordered in August and since completed, I find that the average period from the date of the Agreement to the date of completion of the line was about five weeks. Much of the delay in completing installations is due to wayleave difficulties or to insufficient switchboard capacity in certain of the Exchanges acquired from the National Telephone Company. This latter deficiency is being made good with the least possible delay. Apart from special difficulties of this nature, the normal time taken in providing installations would be about three weeks, and this time will shortly, I trust, be reduced to a fortnight or less. It is not the usual practice to install the instrument before the wires are ready.
§ Captain GILMOUR
asked the Postmaster-General the actual number of telephone subscribers, not stations, on the National Telephone Company's system when taken over by the Post Office on 1st January, 1912; the actual number of Post Office subscribers, not stations, on the same date; the number of flat rate unlimited subscribers on the National Telephone and Post Office systems, respectively, giving the rentals; the number of party line subscribers on the National Telephone and Post Office systems, giving rentals; the number of measured rate subscribers on rates introduced before 1907, giving rentals; and the number of measured rate subscribers on rates introduced in July, 1907, giving rentals?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The number of direct Exchange lines was given in my 1839W answer of the 4th instant to a question by the hon. Member for the Brentford Division. I will give shortly such information as can be readily obtained in regard to the latter part of the question; but I fear that some of the particulars could not be ascertained without considerable difficulty and expense.