asked the Postmaster-General how many persons in Blackpool have applied for a telephone to be connected to their homes or business addresses respectively and have not yet been granted one; and how long it will be before the last of those who have applied will be granted a telephone.
In the county borough of Blackpool 1,026 residential and 2,004 business applications for telephones are outstanding. One thousand two hundred and twenty applications were met during the last twelve months. I regret that in view of the shortage of plant and pressure of essential work in the Preston Telephone Area, I cannot at present forecast when all outstanding applications are likely to be cleared.
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the proper priority is given to the provision of telephones in Blackpool? Is he aware that some business people and some residential applicants have been waiting for nearly three years since the first date of application?
The last statement may be correct. I am not aware that that is so, but it may be so. In view of the shortage, we have gone to considerable trouble to work out a system of priorities which would be as fair as possible.