HC Deb 16 November 1916 vol 87 cc1032-3W

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that Chief Inspector Towersey, sub U-Y Division, the Police Station, Scholefield Road, N., applied on the 24th October to have a telephone fixed at his residential flat, chiefly in order that it might be available for air-raid work; that he was asked to pay a surcharge of £4 for connecting up the line, in addition to the annual subscription and the usual fee for calls, although there is already a line, recently disconnected, from the flat below his actually passing his window; will he explain why this surcharge is made on an officer who has given his work in the special constabulary; and if it is in accordance with the commercial policy of the Department to make these charges?


I have ascertained that although the flat below that occupied by Mr. Towersey was formerly served by telephone some external work would be required to divert the wires to the floor above. In these circumstances the special surcharge introduced to meet the financial stringency brought about by the War is, in the ordinary course, applicable. If, however, Mr. Towersey had represented that the service was needed in connection with his police duties, he would have been informed that the production of a certificate to that effect from the Metropolitan Police authorities would have relieved him of the payment of the surcharge.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that in rural districts in Ireland, such as Swords, county Dublin, the telephone service is not available to the public before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. on week days, and on Sundays is available only from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and that up to a recent date the service was available at all hours on weekdays; if he will say what is the reason for a change involving inconvenience to the public; whether the postmasters in the places mentioned would not object to a return to the old regulations on being paid reasonable remuneration for any additional work; and whether the whole question will be reconsidered?


Telephone call offices in post offices are usually available only during the hours when the post offices are open for other business, and the recent general reduction of hours of attendance has thus affected the telephone call office service. The public call office at Swords was recently removed from private premises to the local post office, an economical arrangement under which the circuit can now be used for sending telegrams as well as for telephone calls. It is frequently possible for a person wishing to make a telephone call outside the official hours to do so on paying a special fee to the sub-postmaster, and I will inquire whether such an arrangement is possible at Swords.