HC Deb 22 July 1953 vol 518 cc357-8
32. Mr. P. Roberts

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is satisfied that the system of allocating telephones in the Woodseats area of Sheffield is fair and equitable; and whether he will institute an inquiry to see that those with the longest applications are dealt with in proper order.

Mr. Gammans

Yes, Sir; the system which has been in force for some years has worked well to deal with the shortages, and I have no reason to suppose that it has broken down in the Woodseats area. If, however, my hon. Friend has any evidence to the contrary, I shall be pleased to make a general inquiry.

Mr. Hobson

On a point of order. I should like to seek your advice, Mr. Speaker, as to whether it is proposed that the Assistant Postmaster-General shall answer Question No. 31 in view of its importance in regard to matters affecting Defence?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member who put down the Question is not here. I have had no request to that effect.

Mr. Roberts

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a good deal of disquiet—I will give him letters bearing this out—and will he not agree that the main trouble is the lack of material for cables in this area, and can he give us some hope that after seven years of waiting he will be able to release the necessary material in order to make this service more satisfactory?

Mr. Gammans

Yes, I can give my hon. Friend a reassuring reply on that last point. An underground relief scheme for cables has already been started and we hope it will be finished within the next 12 months.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Will the Minister be fair with this House and tell the hon. Member concerned that it is impossible to meet the requirements and the demands until the Chancellor of the Exchequer gives a higher allocation to the Post Office?

Mr. Gammans

That applies to most Departments; almost any Department would say they could do with more money.