HC Deb 03 July 1923 vol 166 cc261-2W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the great inconvenience and loss resulting from the unreasonably long notice required before a name can be entered in the telephone directory; and whether this notice can be shortened and quarterly instead of half-yearly directories published?


The directories go to press five to six weeks before the date of publication and, owing to the magnitude of the work, this time cannot be improved upon. The directory consists of 1,024 pages, with about 180,000 entries, in which accuracy is of the greatest importance. The cost and labour involved in the preparation and printing of two additional issues yearly make such an undertaking prohibitive.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he has received any complaints as to the manner in which the telephone directories are issued from the Government printing works; is he aware that these books fall to pieces a few days after being used owing to the loose manner in which the leaves are bound together; and were similar complaints received when these directories were produced by private firms?


The answer to the first and last parts of the question are both in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Acton (Sir H. Brittain) on the 12th March last. The expectation then held out of a material reduction in the number of faulty copies issued was not realised on the last issue, which, owing to the strike among Stationery Office paper workers, had to be carried out with the assistance of inexperienced employés, but even under these conditions the total number of copies in regard to which complaint has been made did not exceed 500 out of a total issue of 275,000 and in some of these cases the copies had not been treated fairly.