§ LORD CROOK
asked Her Majesty's Government:
With regard to the Press announcement of the Post Office of the 26th March to the effect that 100 further manual telephone exchanges will be 745WA converted to automatic working in the 1964–65 period, so that by March, 1965, automatic service will be available to 92 per cent. of subscribers, whether the Wallington, Surrey, Exchange, is included; or whether, once again, the subscribers to that Exchange, only 12½ miles from London, will be left with their ineffective service.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR EDUCATION AND SCIENCE (LORD NEWTON)
My right honourable friend the Postmaster General will not be able to include the Wallington Exchange among the 100 to be converted to automatic working in the 1964–65 period. Planning permission has not yet been obtained for the new exchange building, but if all goes well it should be746WA possible to start the building in 1965 and have the new automatic exchange in operation in 1968.
My right honourable friend is very sorry that the service given by the present manual exchange at Wallington is not as good as it should be. Constant effort is made to improve it; but the switchboard is overloaded and there is no room to enlarge it, and these conditions make it very difficult to give a high standard of service with the present level of traffic.