HC Deb 18 December 1963 vol 686 cc1227-8
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General how many private telephones in Aberdeen are in use; how many applicants are on the waiting list; and how these figures compare with those for each of the last 10 years at the corresponding dates.

Mr. Mawby

As the Answer contains a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the Official Report. The present waiting list is 18 compared with 1,354 in 1953.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister realise that the telephone system is of the utmost importance for business and social contacts in the north of Scotland, and will he, therefore, avoid copying the obnoxious policy of Dr. Beeching in the case of the railways, who is destroying valuable social and business contacts between the people there, and take steps to avoid that kind of obnoxious conduct in the case of the telephone?

Mr. Mawby

It is not for me to comment. Our aim is to make certain that communications will be the best possible for anyone who wants a telephone. This is our aim, and I believe that, in the main, in future this is what we shall achieve.

Following are the figures:

Number of telephones Waiting List Applications under enquiry or being met
30th September, 1953 14,620 1,354 326
30th September, 1954 15,935 1,094 310
30th September, 1955 16,659 1,466 239
30th September, 1956 17,445 882 452
30th September, 1957 18,507 126 491
30th September, 1958 18,567 49 260
30th September, 1959 18,903 73 208
30th September, 1960 19,493 104 252
30th September, 1961 20,328 111 203
30th September, 1962 20,590 27 233
30th September, 1963 21,227 25 265
30th November, 1963 21,317 18 295