HC Deb 14 July 1980 vol 988 cc435-6W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has received the communication dated 8 July from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West concerning the House telephone services; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I regret that there has to be some limit on the number of telephone messages which can be accepted by the staff of the Members' telephone inquiry bureau from individual callers.

At busy times the telephone equipment in the bureau becomes overloaded, and the staff there cannot be increased due to lack of space. In spite of these difficulties on Wednesday 9 July between 6.30 pm and 6.45 pm the operators dealt with 498 calls, and this is a representative load. Improvements are in hand and I am writing to the hon. Member.