Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telephone Directory.

Thursday, 22 October 1959

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 177 No. 2

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54.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware of the profound dissatisfaction over the new Telephone Directory; and if accordingly he will recall the issue and arrange for an issue in a size of type more easily readable.

55.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam Cosgrave  asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state the difference in cost between the [311] new Telephone Directory and that previously in use; if he has received representations about the size of the print in the new Directory; and if larger print will be used in future.

56.

Mr. D. Costello: Information on Declan Costello  Zoom on Declan Costello  asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he is aware of the existence of widespread dissatisfaction with the size of the type in the new Telephone Directory; and if he will ensure that in the next publication of the Directory the type will be larger.

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  I propose, with the permission of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, to take Questions Nos. 54, 55 and 56 together.

I am not aware that there is general dissatisfaction with the type used in the new Telephone Directory. The size of the type is the same as that used in the telephone directories issued in Britain and several other countries and, in fact, this kind of type (known as Bell Gothic) was specially designed for keeping telephone directories to a manageable size consistent with legibility. In our case, the new type was adopted primarily to reduce the size of the volume which with the larger type was presenting serious difficulties in binding. The cost of producing the 1959 issue is about 12 per cent. less than what it would be if the former type were used, but I should like to say that cost saving was not the major consideration in making the change.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Would it not have been possible for the Minister to keep to the existing size of type and divide the Directory into two parts? That would have been one solution and it would have solved the binding problem.

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  It would have, possibly, but that decision was not taken. A decision was taken——

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  The wrong decision.

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  ——to issue the Directory as a single volume, and I might point out that this type, as I have already stated in my reply, is the type used in Britain and other countries.

[312]Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Will the Minister come with me to the telephone and we will ring up any ten numbers at random in Dublin, and ask them whether they think the Telephone Directory is satisfactory or not? I shall abide by the answers they give.

Mr. Lindsay: Information on Patrick James Lindsay  Zoom on Patrick James Lindsay  While the type might be the same as that used in Britain and elsewhere, is the spacing the same?

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  The spacing is the same but the colouring is not the same and I propose to go into the matter with regard to that point in the next Directory. I do not want to say anything further on this.

Mr. Lindsay: Information on Patrick James Lindsay  Zoom on Patrick James Lindsay  Opticians will make a fortune in the meantime.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Nobody can read it in a public callbox.

Mr. Sherwin: Information on Frank Sherwin  Zoom on Frank Sherwin  I have not very good eyesight. I must wear glasses, and I can assure the Minister that I must look at a number in the Telephone Directory two or three times to make it out.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  The Deputy must put a question.

Mr. Sherwin: Information on Frank Sherwin  Zoom on Frank Sherwin  I am referring to the question as to the size of the Directory. I am stating what others have stated. They cannot see the numbers and they are losing money. I lost 6d. myself in the past week. If I can lose 6d. what about other people?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  The Deputy may not make a speech at this stage.

Mr. Sherwin: Information on Frank Sherwin  Zoom on Frank Sherwin  I am putting the people's point of view. They have to look two or three times to be sure, and I would ask the Minister to put better lights in the kiosks, unless he is out to make more “dough” on the sly.

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  It may seem strange, but nevertheless it is true, that the size of type is the same as that used in 1953, and it is only since 1954 that the larger type has been used in Irish Telephone Directories. No questions were answered in this House in 1953.

[313]Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Will the Minister see if the inking was as heavy on that type or not?

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  That is the whole thing.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  You are even saving on the inking.

Mr. Hilliard: Information on Michael Hilliard  Zoom on Michael Hilliard  No, no. The Deputy is casting a reflection on an Irish firm.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  I am casting a reflection on the Minister.


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