asked the Postmaster-General how many spare pairs of wires, exchange calling equipments, and telephones respectively, exist under his control; and in view of the restriction on further capital expenditure, what special steps are being taken to make use of this spare plant for the early satisfaction of waiting applicants.
There were about 900,000 telephones in stock on 30th June, 1950, and 1,125,000 spare pairs of wires and 435,000 exchange calling equipments were available for service. This spare plant is not distributed evenly—the margin is necessarily greater in areas where schemes for new cables or exchange extensions mature, as these are always designed to meet local applications for some considerable time ahead. In areas where there is a shortage of plant, the deficiency is being made good as rapidly as Post Office capital resources permit. These have also to cover the continuous expansion of the inland trunk and junction cable system, as well as of the overseas services.