HC Deb 25 February 1904 vol 130 cc983-4

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he can state the amount expended on the new telephone system; whether that system is now completed; and, if not, will he explain why hundreds of men, many with a record of long service, have been discharged.

THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Lord STANLEY,) Lancashire, Westhoughton

The expenditure on the London Telephone Exchange System amounted to £1,495,602 on the 31st December last. The system is not complete. Its extension is dependent on the provision of further funds by Parliament, and I hope shortly to move a Resolution for leave to introduce a Bill to provide additional capital for this purpose. It has been necessary to restrict the expenditure on telephone works in London, and to reduce the number of workmen employed, in order to avoid exceeding the expenditure authorised by Parliament. If, as I hope, further expenditure is authorised at an early date, the works will be pressed forward as rapidly as possible.