HC Deb 18 May 1960 vol 623 c1261
21. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Postmaster-General how many requests he has had for provision of public telephone kiosks in the Western Isles in the past two years; how many have been agreed; and how many have been refused.

Mr. Bevins

Twenty-four requests have been received and eight have been met. In five other places a telephone is being provided on a rental basis in an individual house.

Mr. MacMillan

Does not the Postmaster-General think that it is somewhat shabby to have to resort to the device of obtaining a community service by getting an individual to apply for it and then to get his neighbours and himself to share the rent? Would it not be much better simply to face the need for community service in these areas and to provide it?

Mr. Bevins

The Western Isles are not doing too badly. Altogether, they have about 170 telephone kiosks. I recognise that social needs come into this matter, but, at the same time, I have to bear in mind that the Post Office is losing about £3½ million a year on public telephone kiosks. Where it is possible to assist small local communities by putting a telephone in an individual house, that helps.