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Tuesday, 24 November 1959

Mr DAVIDSON - In the first place, the priorities for the installation of telephones are determined by the essentiality of the service. I think the honorable member knows full well that an applicant for a telephone installation must state on his application whether he requires a business service or a residential service. If he requires a business service, he must state the nature of his business. Hospitals and people such as doctors and nurses receive priority.

Mr Curtin - And bookmakers.

Mr DAVIDSON - If the honorable member does not want me to answer the question, I shall not bother. The priorities which I have indicated are strictly followed. As to the availability of cables, from time to time, as the cables serving a particular area are almost fully in use, plans for the laying of further cables to serve the area are prepared; so that, at a particular time, there will be one area in which the cables are fully taken up in servicing the existing subscribers, whereas, in another area, there will be available cables in which the pairs have not been fully taken up. The situation in a particular area varies from time to time. Some of the spare capacity is provided simply as part and parcel of the task of satisfying the rapidly expanding demands of the nation.

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