HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 cc1363-4W
Mr. De la Bère

asked the Postmaster-General, whether, in connection with privilege priority telephone calls, he will take steps to ensure that only calls of national importance shall receive priority; and what steps are being taken to prevent junior departmental officials describing their calls as of national importance?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The use of the priority privilege in the telephone service has been under constant scrutiny since the outbreak of war and various steps have been taken to detect and check abuse of the facility. Following a recent comprehensive review of the matter, further steps are now being taken to tighten up the procedure in regard to all priority calls, both from Government Departments and from other sources.

Sir F. Sanderson

asked the Postmaster-General, whether he is aware of the inefficient condition of the telephone; that it is quite impossible to obtain prompt service at any time; and will he therefore give this matter his immediate consideration?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of the serious difficulty experienced from time to time by the public in making telephone calls to and from certain centres. I am fully alive to the importance of maintaining a prompt telephone service under war conditions and I am giving unremitting attention to the matter. I should be glad to explain to my hon. Friend in more detail later the difficulties which we have to meet and the steps we are taking to resolve them.