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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General when the conversion of the Enfield telephone exchange from manual to automatic operation will be completed.

It is impossible to forecast, in view of present shortages, when it will be possible to convert the Enfield Exchange to automatic working. As the hon. Member is aware, the existing manual exchange at Enfield has been extended, increasing its capacity by nearly 1,000 lines and a further extension providing for about 1,600 lines will be made during the next 12 months.


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the number of applicants for telephone installation on the waiting list in Enfield and the net number connected since 1st January, 1946.

One thousand eight hundred and seventy-one applications are on the waiting list and 32 are being investigated. Exchange connections have increased by 2,811 net since 1st January, 1946.

In view of the large number of outstanding applicants, will not the Assistant Postmaster-General look once more into this matter of the conversion of the exchange? Two years ago I was given an undertaking that this matter would be examined, and nothing seems to have been done.

I can hold out no hope that this exchange will be converted to an automatic exchange in the near future.

Does the hon. Gentleman's reply mean that Enfield Exchange is to be permanently a manual one?