§ Mr. GOLDMAN
asked the Postmaster-General if he will give the average time it takes at present of connecting a new subscriber to the telephone system from the time of receiving the subscriber's order to the time the subscriber begins to receive the service, in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin, respectively?
§ Captain NORTON
The average time it takes at present to connect a new subscriber with the telephone system in the cities referred to is as follows:—
London … … 18½ days. Birmingham … … 51 days. Liverpool … … 26 days. Manchester … … 40 days. Edinburgh … … 18 days. Belfast … … 40 days. Dublin … … 21½ days.
These delays are due partly to the want of spare plant, which is being met as quickly as possible by new underground schemes, and partly to the abnormal amount of work on hand for the general development of the telephone service. They also include exceptional delays due to wayleave difficulties or to circumstances arising out of the subscribers' private arrangements.