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Automatic Dialling System, West Sussex

Volume 656: debated on Tuesday 27 March 1962

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asked the Postmaster-General what steps he is taking to simplify the complicated automatic dialling system which has recently been installed in West Sussex.

I think my hon. Friend is referring to the recent introduction of six-digit codes for dialling calls to some exchanges in West Sussex. I am afraid that this is unavoidable with the present equipment. As subscriber trunk dialling is introduced, however, the codes will gradually be replaced by codes consisting of three letters and three figures, and these will be easier to use.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that reply will give a good deal of satisfaction to people in West Sussex? This six-figure code really does not work, and it is almost a stone-cold certainty that after dialling three of the figures one gets a horrible noise in one's ear. Is my right hon. Friend aware that for four weeks running I have reported the matter to the Horsham exchange, but that the people there do not seem to be able to put it right?

I agree that the present system is by no means perfect, but I think that for the present most subscribers would rather have the facility of direct dialling than have to go through the operator.