HC Deb 24 October 1912 vol 42 cc2399-400W
Captain CRAIG

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that, as the result of a dispute between the Irish Post Office authorities and the Dublin County Council, a number of residents in county Dublin have not been provided with telephone accommodation although they have signed agreements for the Post Office some nine months ago; and if he will state what steps are being taken to bring this state of affairs to an end?


I have been in correspondence with the Dublin County Council in the hope of removing the difficulty through which the provision of telepone facilities in the district is being delayed. If, however, the council continue to oppose the exercise of the statutory powers with which the Postmaster-General is vested, it will be necessary to appeal to the competent Court under the powers conferred upon me by the Telegraph Acts.

Captain O'NEILL

asked the Postmaster-General whether he has received several letters from leading merchants and others interested, both in Belfast and Ballymena, urging the necessity for establishing a telephone in Thomas Street Post Office, Ballymena, county Antrim; and whether he will, without further delay, issue the necessary instructions for providing this telephone?


I have received the representations referred to, and have issued instructions for a public telephone call office to be installed at the Thomas Street Post Office, Ballymena.


asked the Posmaster-General whether he is aware that inconvenience is being caused to subscribers by the inefficient working of the Gerrard Exchange; whether any additional accommodation has now been provided at the exchange; and, if so, what further steps he proposes to take to improve the service?


I am not aware that an inefficient service is being given at the Gerrard Exchange, but it is advisable to lighten the traffic that is being dealt with there. It is impossible to extend the switchboard of this exchange, but a new exchange, with accommodation for 2,300 subscribers, has just been installed in the same building, and this new exchange will be extended early next year so as to provide accommodation for 7,700 subscribers in all. Concurrently with the issue of the January Telephone Directory, or sooner if the subscribers are willing, 1,150 Gerrard subscribers will be transferred to the new exchange.


asked the Postmaster-General whether it is intended to replace established officers now working the night telephone exchanges in Manchester and Bristol by unestablished labour; whether young men are now being trained for this purpose; and whether he will state the reasons for displacing an established class by an unestablished class with a maximum of less than 30s. per week?


It has been decided to employ a special class of night operators generally for night telephone work, instead of employing sorting clerks and telegraphists, and men are under training for these posts at various towns. The class has been in existence for some years in London, Glasgow, and Brighton under the Post Office service, and fairly generally in the National Telephone service. The class is unestablished, and the question of its status and pay will no doubt come under the consideration of the Select Committee at present sitting.