HC Deb 21 June 1921 vol 143 cc1118-9W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that Mr. C. S. Weir had a private telephone between his house and stables at Carbeth Guthrie over a distance of less than a quarter of a mile; that the said installation was made at a minimum of cost of about £5 by the late National Telephone Company, no poles being used and the wires attached to trees; that there was no through connection to the general system, it being purely a stable telephone; that the installation was perfect and never required any attention or repair; that the Post Office charged a rental of £2 17s. 6d. therefor, which has been paid for the last dozen years; that Mr. Weir has now instructed the telephone to be removed because the annual charge has been raised to £6 15s.; and that he has made a contract with a firm of electricians for an installation at a less cost than two years' of the annual rent proposed by the Post Office, for which new telephone he will have no annual rent to pay to anyone; whether there are many similar cases of loss of remunerative revenue by private telephones being removed for the same reason; whether the method of removing the said installation was as follows: a man on a motor cycle and side-car arrived to disconnect the instrument, removal, he said, was not his job, and some days later a squad of three to five men on a motor lorry arrived and lifted it thereon, leaving the wire as derelict; and whether, with a view to save expense, he will direct the use of Army mules or similar animals of unmixed blood as being more economical and suitable for Post Office transport?


The revised charges for private wires, based on the average cost of providing the service, are. 25s. per annum for each furlong of external circuit (radial measurement) and £2 per annum for each instrument. The rental actually quoted was consequently £6 10s., not £6 15s. I have no knowledge of the contract made by Mr. Weir with a firm of electricians, but apparently the quotation referred to by the hon. Member does not include maintenance. The number of subscribers giving up the service as a result of the increased charges is relatively small. I am making inquiries as to the method adopted for carrying out the removal.