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Volume 728: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1966

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asked the Postmaster-General if he will reduce telephone rentals where the service has declined due to lack of equipment below what might have been expected when the rental was fixed.

No, Sir. We must all contribute to finance the huge development programme now in progress.

When a nationalised industry which is at the same time a monopoly is failing in the service which is due to the public, ought it not to be urged by the Minister to set a good example in this respect, to recognise that it is in moral breach of its contract, and to endeavour to reduce the rental for its telephones?

If the difficulty in the past arose from inadequate investment, it would be very foolish to deny ourselves the finance for more adequate investment in the future. We make provision for shared service and for restricted service at a lower rental. We shall always look at individual cases of failure of service, but the proposition made in the Question is quite impossible.