HC Deb 26 October 1972 vol 843 cc374-5W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is aware that on Tuesday, 3rd October, at 9.45 a.m. a teacher in West Ham telephoned his immigration department on number 405 4321, and was kept waiting for 25 minutes without a reply, that after eight attempts he tried the alternative number of 242 8811 and was referred back to the former number, and that after a total of 65 minutes he had to give up; and whether he will take some action to ensure that telephone calls to his Department are promptly dealt with;

(2) whether he is aware of the general difficulties and problems being caused to persons telephoning his immigration department, in failing to get connected on the telephone and having long periods of waiting for replies; and whether he will try to arrange a tape reply service to advise calling back when the line is free or likely to be answered, or introduce some better system than at present for dealing with these telephone calls.

Mr. Lane

I am well aware that the existing telephone facilities do not always meet the very heavy demand.

But next month the Immigration and Nationality Department is to move to new premises at which there will be more lines.