§ 23. Mr. Gibson
asked the Postmaster-General to what extent his Department has reduced its orders for the supply of engineering equipment for telephone exchanges; and what plans he has for the further extension of telephone exchanges to meet fully the demand for telephone services.
§ Mr. Marples
Orders this year will be appreciably higher than last year. The programme for next year is dependent on decisions to be reached by the Government on public investment, but I hope that we shall maintain, and possibly improve on, the present programme.
§ Mr. Gibson
May I ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that some of the men employed in factories making telephone equipment have been warned about redundancy, and that there is considerable concern about it? In view of the admitted increased demand, to which the Postmaster-General has referred, and the waiting list for telephones, can the right hon. Gentleman make a public statement or do anything to assure the people working in the factories making this equipment that they are not likely to be out of work in the next twelve months?
§ Mr. Marples
If the hon. Gentleman will send me details of the people who have been told they are likely to be redundant, I will look into the matter. Orders this year will be appreciably higher than last year, and I hope that next year they will be higher still.