HC Deb 30 May 1946 vol 423 cc1326-7
20. Brigadier Low

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General why a man who had a business telephone before the war, but surrendered that telephone when he volunteered for service at the beginning of the war, is now refused reinstatement of that telephone for business purposes on the ground that there is no wire vacant in the vicinity of the house; and whether he will reconsider the matter as, in the case of which particulars have been forwarded to him, there is a vacant wire connected to a pole a few yards from the house of the applicant.

Mr. Burke

I have looked into the case which the hon. and gallant Member has sent to me, and have confirmed that although an overhead wire exists for part of the way, it is not continued in the underground cable and an additional cable must be laid before service can be provided. There is unfortunately a large number of similar cases where new cables are needed, and it is not possible at present to say when this particular cable can be put in hand, but I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that there will be no avoidable delay.

24. Lieut.-Colonel Byers

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General how many miles of telephone wire have been laid and telephone instruments installed ill the last six months in the Parliamentary division of North Dorset.

Mr. Burke

Seventy-six miles of wire have been erected, 343 wire-miles of cable have been provided, and 210 telephone instruments have been installed during the last six months.

Lieut.-Colonel Byers

Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that there is considerable feeling that the towns are being provided with important facilities, while essential services are denied to the countryside—this figure indicates that? Can the Minister take steps through a committee of country people to see that the countryside gets a square deal?

Mr. Burke

Where there are essential services required in country districts by farmers, for example, we do everything possible to meet their needs, and they get a very high priority. The difficulty in the hon. and gallant Member's area is that the exchanges are full to capacity; it is a rebuilding problem.