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Ceisteanna — Questions Oral Answers. - Provision of Telephones.

Thursday, 29 September 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 224 No. 3

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21.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the reasons for the delay in providing telephones services for people who have paid their deposits as far back as six months ago.

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan The abnormal delays that occurred in a small number of cases were caused mainly by the necessary diversion of construction staff to the repair of heavy and widespread storm damage to the network early in the year, and also by labour difficulties.

When the advance rental arrangement was made last year it was intended not to collect advance payment from any applicant until it was clear that service could be given to him within a reasonable period, but in a [411] number of instances this intention was defeated by the difficulties that I have mentioned.

I have directed that a special effort be made to clear the outstanding cases as quickly as possible.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Is the Minister aware that I know of one person who paid a deposit of £170 last March and the cheque was cashed immediately? He was promised service in June and in June was told he would get it in August, and when he complained in August, he was told he would get it in a fortnight but up to the present he has not got it. Can the Minister give us any guarantee that those cases will be attended to without delay? I know of at least 20 in Westmeath and——

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan I would not say there were 20. There are a few cases.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Last week I wrote to the Minister about seven or eight cases and——

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan These unavoidable delays occur in comparatively few cases.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Does the Minister not think it an unreasonable delay?

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan Of necessity, there must be some delay. First of all, we must ensure that the person is definitely going to accept the telephone before the procedure——

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon If he has given £170——

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange If you cashed his cheque——

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan This entails getting an agreement completed and there is a waiting period, of necessity. This is something I am trying to get over. We could find ourselves, having incurred considerable cost, being told that the telephone was not being accepted.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Is the Minister aware that these cheques are cashed within one week of getting them? Surely if a person's cheque is cashed, [412] you know that the person is going to take the telephone? That is not an excuse at all. Why not hold on to the cheque until you are able to go on with——

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan Few people do that.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Very few cash them in advance.

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan Very few businessmen do it.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Will you give interest on the money in the meantime?

22.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the number of people awaiting telephone installation in County Westmeath.

Mr. J. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan Zoom on Joseph Brennan The number is 245, including 80 for whom arrangements have been made to provide service.


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