HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 cc630-1
21. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Postmaster-General how much capital to date has been invested in the Post Office in the last 10 years.

Mr. Edward Short

In the 10 years to 31st March, 1967, £1,479 million, of which £663 million has been invested in the three years 1964 to 1967. Expenditure in the current financial year is expected to be £319 million.

Mr. Ridsdale

How much of the £2,000 million which the right hon. Gentleman said would be invested in the next five years will be invested in such projects as communications satellites and how much will go into extravagant schemes like local radio stations?

Mr. Short

None at all will go in local radio stations. The £2,000 million was for the Post Office. Incidentally, I should not have called satellites "extravagant" schemes. They are replacing submarine cables now. Apparently the hon. Gentleman does not realise that.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how much of the £660 million invested in the last three years was planned and ready for installation when the present Government took over?

Mr. Short

I cannot break up the figure, but I will write to the hon. Gentleman and give him separate figures for the three years, although he can see the massive build-up over that time.

Mr. Ridsdale

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for the right hon. Gentleman to say words which I did not use, to the effect that satellite investment was extravagant?

Mr. Speaker

Order. We must get on with the Questions.