HC Deb 20 May 1924 vol 173 cc2033-4W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that large numbers of telephone users are of opinion that they are charged for many calls in addition to those with persons to whom they have been effectively connected; will he state, seeing that calls are automatically recorded against a subscriber, what is the method by which wrong numbers and other ineffective connections are credited to the subscribers' account; and whether all such credits are entirely dependent on the memory of the telephone operator?


I am aware that a number of telephone subscribers are of opinion that they are overcharged for calls, but I have no reason to think that the opinion is widespread. The hon. Member would appear to be under a misapprehension in regard to the manner in which calls are recorded. The operation is not automatic except in a full automatic exchange. In exchanges worked manually on the central battery system, such as these in London and most large cities, the operation can be correctly described as mechanical, that is, the record is made by the pressure of a key; but no call is recorded until the operator receives the signal that conversation is finished. Should she be informed after registration that a number other than that required had been connected, another call is offered, or a credit ticket is immediately made out for the purpose of cancelling the record. This system of registration has been carefully investigated by the London Telephone and Telegraph Advisory Committee, but if the hon. Member cares to visit an exchange I will see that the system is fully explained and demonstrated to him.


asked the Postmaster-General which Continental capitals are within telephonic communication of London subscribers at the present time; and whether there is any prospect of the range being extended in the near future?


The Continental capitals at present in telephonic communication with London are Paris, Brussels, The Hague and Berne. Negotiations are in hand for the extensions of communication to Berlin, but it is not possible at present to give definite information on the subject.