Thursday, 22 October 1959
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. 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.
Mr. Cosgrave: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state the difference in cost between the  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.
Mr. D. 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.
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: 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. 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. 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. 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?
Mr. 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: 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.
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