§ 29. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the representations he has received from hon. Members and officials of the trade unions on the impending 5,000 redundancies in the telecommunications industry and the consultations he has had with the chairman of the Post Office.
§ Mr. Gregor Mackenzie
I have had discussions with hon. Members, trades union leaders and with the Chairman of the Post Office. The manufacturers had previously been given an indication of the lower limit of ordering they might have to face in the next two years. The Post Office has now told them of the programme it considers they should plan on for four years ahead. This is higher than the lower limit, particularly as regards orders for Strowger and crossbar equipment to be placed next year. But in view of the capacity available to the Post Office and the rundown in demand for exchange apparatus fairly substantial redundancies are inevitable.