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Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1951

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asked the Postmaster-General whether the telephone facilities in the Blackburn area will be increased sufficiently in 1951 to bring the supply of telephones expressed as a percentage of the demand for them in that area into line with the corresponding percentage in other areas in the North-Western Region.

Widely varying conditions make it impracticable to regulate development of the telephone service in different areas on any general percentage basis such as that suggested. Subject, however, to the needs of the defence programme, my right hon. Friend expects that the relative rate of supply in the Blackburn area will be increased this year.

Relative to the needs of the surrounding districts and towns in Lancashire.

Why not relative to the disparity between the Blackburn area and other areas?

That is another question. So far as Blackburn is concerned the immediate needs have been attended to; there has been expansion there and actually a diversion of manpower.