§ Mr. Watkins
asked the Postmaster-General whether he has now given further consideration to the reduction of the charges for telephone service to premises three miles or over from the nearest telephone exchange; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bevins
Yes. I am satisfied that the present practice is right. Capital investment in these long lines amounts to more than £3 million and the revenue hardly covers maintenance charges. With capital restrictions as they are, I could not justify the increased expenditure needed to meet the new demand that would follow a reduction in the mileage charges. Nor could I justify the extra costs that would have to be borne by telephone users generally.
I have, however, abolished the special charges, and applied the standard rentals and mileage radius, at exchanges with eight subscribers or less.