§ 11. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the number of applicants for telephones in Aberdeen who are on the waiting list; and what steps he is taking to reduce this number.
§ The Postmaster-General (Mr. Reginald Bevins)
In the City of Aberdeen there were 109 applications on the waiting list at 31st December, and a further 233 under inquiry or in course of being met. Most of these applicants live on new housing estates.
New cables are being laid, and I hope that those at present waiting will be given service in the summer.
Nearly 1,500 telephones were installed in Aberdeen last year.
§ Mr. Hughes
Is not that a terrible confession of failure by the Postmaster-General? Does he realise that the engineering labour force is inadequate to meet current needs, that his failure to remedy the men's grievances can only lead to further delay in providing the service required; and that he owes a duty, not only to the men in his service 8 but to the business community to see that the telephone service is maintained to its fullest extent? Will he take steps to that end?
§ Mr. Bevins
I have not the exact figures by me, Mr. Speaker, but I should be very surprised if there were more than one or two business people in the City of Aberdeen waiting for telephones. As for a confession of failure, I should like to say to the hon. and learned Gentleman that the present waiting list represents less than half of 1 per cent. of the total number of people in the City of Aberdeen who have telephones.