HC Deb 24 March 1925 vol 182 cc267-8W

asked the Postmaster-General the number of telephones in use per 1,000 of inhabitants in this country and in the United States of America; and how many other countries have- in use more telephones per 1,000 of inhabitants than this country has?


The number of telephones per 1,000 inhabitants at the 1st January, 1924, was 142 in the United States and 26 in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Eleven countries have in use more telephones per 1,000 inhabitants than this country.

Colonel DAY

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the dissatisfaction among many telephone subscribers over the system in existence by winch subscribers are charged for telephone calls that they do not pass; and will he consider the introduction of some further means to ensure that only the proper number of calls passed through the exchange by any subscriber are registered and charged correctly?


Complaints of overcharges are periodically received, but I am not aware that the system of registration is generally challenged. I should welcome the invention of any device which would wholly eliminate the human element and thus place the possibility of error beyond dispute, but this is at present impracticable except in association with automatic exchanges. The utmost that can be done is to employ the best mechanism available, and no better method has yet superseded the meter system which has long been in use not only in this country, but in America and on the Continent. This system has been examined and approved by members of telephone and telegraph advisory committees and other interested persons on many occasions, but if the hon. and gallant Member would care to visit an exchange I should be happy to arrange for the system to be fully explained and demonstrated to him.