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Government Departments (Telephone Calls)

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1943

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the official estimate that approximately 80 per cent. of telephone calls throughout the country are attributable to Government Departments and Government-controlled institutions, he will take every step to ensure that this percentage is not increased by reason of calls no longer being charged to the appropriate Departments and also because no close scrutiny or record is now maintained?

As I informed my hon. Friend on 22nd April, the need for rigid economy in the use of telephone communication facilities has been impressed on all Government Departments. In cooperation with the other Departments the Post Office is keeping under review the practical operation of the new arrangements.

Is not the Minister aware that, notwithstanding the steps that have been taken, a large number of totally unnecessary long-distance calls is made almost daily from Whitehall? Will he endeavour to make Government Departments realise that they cannot monopolise the whole telephone service?