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Oversea Telephone Service

Volume 237: debated on Friday 4 April 1930

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asked the Postmaster-General the numbers and names of countries with which Great Britain has now direct telephonic communication; and whether any European countries have direct telephonic com- munication with any South or Central American countries which are not on the British list, and, if so, which?

I understand that by "direct" telephonic communication the hon. Member means telephonic communication by means of a "through" circuit connecting the terminal countries, as distinct from communication effected by switching through in some intermediate country. Great Britain has "through" telephone circuits to the following 12 countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Irish Free State Italy
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland and
  • United States of America.
A telephone service is provided from Great Britain by means of switching in an intermediate country to the following 16 countries:

  • The Argentine (Buenos Aires)
  • Canada (all parts)
  • Cuba (all parts)
  • Czechoslovakia (all parts)
  • Danzig Free City
  • Finland (parts)
  • Gibraltar
  • Hungary (all parts)
  • Lithuania (parts)
  • Luxembourg (City)
  • Mexico (parts)
  • Norway (parts)
  • Poland (parts)
  • Portugal (Lisbon)
  • The Sarre Territory and
  • Spanish Morocco (Ceuta).

All the above services (except that with Buenos Aires) afford direct communication between subscribers' ordinary telephones and are available at all hours of the day and night. There is no inherent difference in the quality of service afforded to the public by means of an intermediate switch as compared with services provided by means of "through" circuits.

In regard to the last part of the question, Spain has telephonic communication with the Argentine by means of one "through" circuit; and a "through" circuit is also in use for alternative service during limited hours and under restricted conditions between France (Paris) and Germany (Berlin) and the Argentine (Buenos Aires). A circuit between Paris and Berlin and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) has recently been provided under similar conditions.