§ 10. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Postmaster-General how the sum of £163 million, which he estimates will be required for development of the telephone service for the two years 1956 and 1957, compares with the present annual expenditure for the same purpose.
The amount required from borrowed capital for the 1955–56 programme for the development of the telephone service is estimated at about £69 million. The sum of £163 million might last a little longer than two years, but much depends upon prices.
§ Mr. Gresham Cooke
I appreciate what my right hon. Friend says, but does he contemplate any change in long-term projects, such as the opening of the Teddington Lock exchange in 1960?
I suggest that that is a question which my hon. Friend might desire to raise on Friday, when the Second Reading of the Post Office and Telegraph (Money) Bill is to take place.
§ 20. Mr. Crouch
asked the Postmaster-General the estimated saving on the telephone service by the slower programme recently announced; and what alternative work will be found for the staff on account of the changed policy.
My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. As paragraph 21 of the White Paper shows, the development programme will continue to expand though its rate of expansion will be restrained.
§ Mr. Crouch
Would I be correct in assuming that the cost of labour is the greatest charge in installing telephones? If certain men are kept on this job, would my right hon. Friend see that these men are properly employed owing to the slowing down of the programme?