§ 40. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker
asked the Lord President of the Council what space is required to install a modern automatic telephone exchange for the Houses of Parliament so that hon. Members can dial internal as well as outside numbers; and what steps he will take to make such space available in the vicinity of Westminster, in view of the inadequacy of the present manual exchange and the strain imposed upon the operators, even after the proposed extension has been completed.
§ Mr. Crossman
A comprehensive survey of the telephone requirements of the Palace of Westminster is being made by my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General, and I understand that his report will be available later this year, and that it is likely to recommend a fully automatic telephone system. This would need about 4,500 square feet of space, of which 1,000 square feet must be within the Palace of Westminster. The report will be urgently considered by the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services), as soon as it is received, but even if it is approved, manufacture and installation will take some time. The extension to the existing exchange is expected to be completed by the end of the Summer Recess, and will be brought into service, as circumstances require.