HC Deb 08 July 1959 vol 608 cc1344-5
27. Mr. Swingler

asked the Postmaster-General what plans he has made for a trunk dialling station in North Staffordshire.

30. Dr. Stross

asked the Postmaster-General when a new telephone exchange will be provided to replace the existing one in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Mr. K. Thompson

We are planning a new automatic exchange at Hanley, which will give subscriber trunk dialling facilities from a number of exchanges in North Staffordshire. A new building is needed and we are at present acquiring a site. We expect to complete the new exchange in 1964–65.

Mr. Swingler

I thank the Assistant Postmaster-General for his reply, but all that seems to be rather far in the future. Would it not be possible to accelerate this development, in view of the very serious complaint in North Staffordshire that we are not receiving a fair allocation of capital expenditure? Will the Post Office reconsider the matter and look again at the timetable?

Mr. Thompson

We cannot do more than we are doing. We are providing this new exchange which will provide improved facilities at eight exchanges in the area, and the timetable is set for us by the requirements of building the building and providing and installing the equipment.

Dr. Stross

Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that the Hanley exchange in my constituency is very old, and does he agree that it is a quite unsatisfactory building for modern purposes? Can he explain why a much smaller town than Stoke-on-Trent, namely, Stafford, is to have a new telephone exchange in 1961, while we in our great city have to wait until 1964–65?

Mr. Thompson

I hope the hon. Gentleman will accept that it is not out of any lack of regard for the importance of the town he represents. It is simply a matter of putting these things into a programme in their right and most convenient order.

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