§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Postmaster-General if his attention has been called to the poor paper used in the Telephone Directory and the indifferent binding of the pages; and whether he will investigate the matter and ensure an improvement in the next issue of these volumes?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I have been asked to reply. I am afraid that I cannot agree with the hon. Member. The paper used in the Telephone Directory is not of inferior quality, and has been found after investigation to be the most serviceable paper for a book of this character. The substitution of a paper of better quality would involve a greater increase in the cost of production of the Directory than would be justified. The binding of the Directory has proved to be satisfactory for the normal wear and tear of a book which is replaced at the end of every six months. For subscribers who have to subject the Directory to exceptionally heavy use, copies sewn in cloth boards are available at the price of one shilling a copy. The method of binding employed for the ordinary copies of the Directory is similar to that employed in other countries wherever the volume is comparable in size, and is the only practicable method of producing to time the 525,000 copies required. I may say that the possibility of improving the production of the volumes is the subject of constant consideration.