Mr. John Hall
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what new circumstances have arisen which have made it necessary to postpone the building of the new telephone exchange at Naphill from 1955 to the end of 1957.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Sir. Edward Boyle)
I have been asked to reply for my hon. Friend, who is unfortunately still indisposed.
There have been difficulties about acquiring the site. The large increase in demand has also meant a larger building than was originally planned. Service is at present provided by a mobile exchange, but for the reasons given it cannot be replaced by a permanent building until 1957.
Is my hon. Friend aware that those of us who pay telephone accounts may think that those without telephones do not know when they are well off? Will he, in view of the masochistic desire of some of my constituents to add to their financial burdens, do his best to speed up the building of this new exchange?
§ Sir. E. Boyle
My hon. Friend is sorry about the delay. Unfortunately the sites finally obtained included two parcels of land in different ownership. There has also been difficulty about title, but completion of purchase is now being put forward as quickly as possible.
§ Mr. Stokes
Is it not a fact that there is difficulty in arriving at what is called a satisfactory price between his hon. 2042 Friend's Department and the owners of the sites?
§ Sir. E. Boyle
I have not myself been concerned with the technical details. I would rather not answer that question without notice.