32. Mr. FOOT
asked the Postmaster-General what progress has been made in respect to the installation of rural telephones since the Post Office Estimates were introduced; and whether he will state to what extent the party-line system has been adoped in such installations?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
As a result of the more liberal terms for rural extensions of the telephone system announced in the Estimates Debate, support has already been obtained for 13 new exchanges. They will be installed as soon as possible. 1891 Canvasses are also in progress at a number of places where there is good prospect of securing adequate support. Since the 1st May, 662 additional rural party-line telephones have been installed and 151 call offices opened at provincial post offices, chiefly in rural districts. Statistics are not available as to the total number of exchange lines added to existing rural exchanges during the same period, but they are probably considerable. It has also been possible, in view of the recent concessions, to authorise the extension of the trunk system to the existing exchange at Fort William. The service will probably be available about the end of this month.