HC Deb 23 October 1972 vol 843 cc183-4W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will cause an investigation to be made to ascertain why it took the telephonist at his Department from 11.30 a.m. until 11.37 a.m. to answer a telephone call made on Wednesday, 27th September, details of which have been supplied; and whether he will ensure that callers are either answered more speedily or reasons given why they are kept waiting so long for a reply.

Mr. John Davies

I regret this delay, which was due to shortage of operators through sickness. The switchboard works in a way that does not allow the operator to know whether a caller has been waiting, and it is therefore not possible to ensure that an apology is given if there is undue delay unless the caller draws attention to it. The supervisor can normally explain any delay.