asked the Postmaster-General the number of definite orders for telephone installations which 238W are not executed at the present moment; the maximum amount of time which has elapsed since any individual order was placed; the number of complaints of inefficient telephone service received in the past year; and the distribution of such complaints between the automatic and the ordinary service?
§ Mr. WHITE
There were 9,244 orders in course of execution on 31st October last. The information asked for in the second part of the question is not available; but of the 19,630 new services provided during October, 59 per cent. were completed within one week, and 78 per cent. within two weeks. Every endeavour is made and will continue to be made to complete orders within a week. I may say when delay of more than a fortnight occurs it is usually due to causes outside Post Office control, such as the need for obtaining wayleaves. I am giving special attention to this matter with the object of speeding up the provision of the telephone service. During the year ended September, 1931, one written complaint was made for every 25,000 originated calls. Separate figures for the manual and automatic systems are not readily available, but in the last seven years, during which there has been a considerable development of the automatic system, the proportion of complaints has steadily decreased each year.