§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Postmaster-General what plans he has for improving the telephone service in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
§ Mr. Edward Short
During the next six or seven years I plan to replace much of the trunk line plant serving the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Many worn-out submarine cables that were laid during the war to connect the Islands with each other and with the mainland will be replaced by modern radio lines. On the mainland, new underground cables and some radio links will be provided to replace or supplement existing plant that is inadequate for modern needs.
This programme for reconstructing the trunk system will be co-ordinated with the already announced programme of converting exchanges to automatic working, and providing subscriber trunk dialling. The total cost of all these programmes will be about £6+ million. I hope that, as a result, telephone service in the area will be much improved.