§ Lieut.-Colonel AINSWORTH
asked the Postmaster-General in how many districts during the current year new poles and overhead wires have been erected in connection with new telephone development work; in how many instances protests have been made against their erection by the local authorities concerned on the grounds that they create a nuisance or detract from the amenities of the district; on what conditions these protests are acceded to; and why, in view of the fact that it is the ultimate aim of his Department to have all telephone wires underground, it is decided to erect them overhead in the first instance?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
Overhead lines have probably been constructed in practically all districts during the current year in connection with the development of local telephone services; and a number of local authorities have intimated their objection, on various grounds, but it is not possible, without a disproportionate expenditure of time and trouble, to furnish precise figures on either point. Underground cables are laid to the fullest possible extent consistent with economy, but a proportion of overhead wires is essential to the widespread development of the service unless altogether prohibitive expenditure is to be incurred.