§ Mr. Palmer
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the number of applications he has received for the installation of telephones in private residences in the London postal area from 1st January, 1945, to 30th September, 1945; the total of that number connected within that period; whether each application is dealt with in strict rotation; if he is aware that a period of three months elapses before any acknowledgment is sent to prospective subscribers; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
§ Mr. Burke
About 88,000 applications for telephone service were received in the London Telecommunications Region between 1st January, 1945, and 30th September, 1945, but it is not possible to say without a lengthy investigation into individual cases how many of these were from persons within the London postal area, which is somewhat smaller, or how many were in respect of private residences. Over 28,000 residence installations were completed during the period in the London Telecommunications Region.
Priority as regards residential installations was given to applications from:
Ministers of the Crown.
Members of both Houses of Parliament.
Key Officers of public utility undertakings (Gas, Water, Electricity, Railways, etc.) dealing with emergencies.
National Fire Service: leading officers.
Mayors and Provosts.
Judges and Sheriffs.
County and Town Clerks.
And also in other instances where it was established that the telephone was urgently needed in the national interest or on certain compassionate grounds. Apart from this, all applications are dealt with in strict date order where telephone plant is available.
Inquiry is made into the equipment position before a reply is sent to each application, but I am assured that this usually takes less than a fortnight, and if the Hon. Member will give me details of any case in which the delay has been as much as three months, I will gladly make inquiries.