HC Deb 05 December 1922 vol 159 cc1548-9W

asked the Postmaster-General when, now that the required number of subscribers has been secured for Cromarty, Munlochy, and Fortrose, the telephone service is likely to be introduced into the Black Isle?


I hope that it will be possible to complete these exchanges within three or four months hence, but, as a considerable amount of work has to be done, it is too early to name a definite date. The work will, however, be pushed forward as, quickly as possible.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the excessive charges claimed in the form of deposits on the accounts of users of the telephone; and can these charges be revised?


The deposits required from telephone users under the current tariff, by which all calls are paid for quarterly in arrear, are sufficient to cover approximately two-thirds only of the credit given. Under the previous tariff local calls were paid for in advance, usually annually, and trunk calls monthly in arrear, and deposits in respect of trunk calls were generally required to cover the total credit. Even allowing for the increased deposits, the subscriber receives more credit under the new system than under the old, and I am not in a position to reduce the scale of deposits now required.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he will take steps to provide further telephone facilities in rural areas in Scotland with a special view to their use in aiding the police to prevent crime or secure the capture of persons who have committed crimes?


In accordance with the policy announced last May, new rural exchanges are opened where a minimum of eight subscribers can be found willing to pay £2 a quarter (for circuits within a mile of the exchange), and where the expense involved is not abnormally high. Call offices are provided at all such exchanges, and also wherever they can be established without undue expense or where a guarantee is forthcoming. Many rural exchanges and call offices have been authorised in recent months, and I am prepared to consider any specific proposals submitted to me. Further, I am prepared to provide on ordinary rental terms any telephone circuits which the police may require.