HC Deb 18 December 1963 vol 686 cc1229-30
11. Mr. Manuel

asked the Postmaster-General what special action he intends to take to reduce the waiting lists for telephone installations by providing more telephone facilities in the districts designated as growth areas in the White Paper on Central Scotland.

Mr. Bevins

There are already plans for providing more exchange equipment and cables in these areas. The position is now being reviewed with a view to speeding up matters in accordance with the aims announced in the recent White Paper.

Mr. Manuel

Can the Postmaster-General give us any idea just how soon they will catch up with the great lag in many areas of Scotland, especially in the bell indicated in the Question? Is he fully seized of the importance of his Department's initiative matching that of the local authorities, which are spending a great deal of money? Is he also aware of how necessary it is that when industrialists, executives and key workers come into an area they should have phone facilities provided in their homes and in the factories so that communications there will be as good as the best down here?

Mr. Bevins

Yes, I am aware of all those considerations. I think that the hon. Gentleman may like to know that in those parts of Central Scotland, which are served by about fifty exchanges, there are at present about 50,000 subscribers and only about 500 people are waiting for telephones. We are speeding up our plans. If the hon. Gentleman would like to have detailed information as to what we are doing, I will gladly write to him.