HC Deb 09 November 1955 vol 545 cc1823-4
17. Mr. Whitelaw

asked the Postmaster-General if he will give special priority to the isolated rural districts in his development programme for farm telephones and for telephone kiosks in the villages.

Dr. Hill

There is a measure of priority for both rural kiosks and farmers' lines. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind, I shall be glad to make inquiry.

Mr. Whitelaw

While appreciating what my right hon. Friend says, may I ask that while he is making his priorities he will bear in mind that in those isolated districts telephones have a very special importance in urgent cases of human and animal illness?

Dr. Hill

I do appreciate that point, and we go a good way in the different kinds of priority which are accorded to farmers and to rural areas generally.

Mr. Harold Davies

Does the right hon. Gentleman give to each local telephone manager, who knows local conditions, the power to decide the priorities in his district?

Dr. Hill

In general, that is true. In cases of farmers' applications, where the number of poles involved is more than 12 or 14 the telephone manager consults the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on the application.

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