HC Deb 15 July 1959 vol 609 c391
21. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Postmaster-General the net increase in the number of telephone subscribers estimated for the current year; and the net increase for each of the past five years.

Mr. Marples

For the current year the estimated net increase is 155,000. For the five years 1954 to 1958, the net increases, in round figures, have been 210,000, 270,000, 205,000, 70,000 and 85,000. I am circulating the detailed figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for that information. May I ask him if it is a fact that the rate of demand has now fallen very considerably? Does he not think that the time has arrived when extra steps should be taken to stimulate the demand for telephones, especially in view of capital investment on the automation side?

Mr. Marples

As a matter of fact, the demand in the last few months has been increasing, not declining, and we are quite satisfied that the demand is all right as far as we are concerned.

The detailed figures are:

1954 210,755
1955 271,121
1956 204,071
1957 69,553
1958 86,925

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