Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telephone System Expenditure.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state why capital expenditure on the telephone system during the financial year 1950-51 was approximately £450,000 less than the amount originally estimated to be required, and if he will indicate how the amount expended was divided between (1) main cable from Dublin to Cork; (2) extension of automatic exchange system; (3) linking up new subscribers, and (4) other improvements in the system.

The total expenditure from telephone capital funds in the financial year 1950-51 will not be known for some months to come and the amount of the saving as compared with the original estimate of expenditure cannot, therefore, be determined at present. It is considered likely, however, that there will be an appreciable saving, the greater portion of which is due to certain deliveries of equipment which were expected towards the end of the year not having come to hand and to some contract work being slightly in arrear.

It is not possible, for the reason already given, to state the break-up of the expenditure under the headings indicated in the Deputy's question, but a rough approximation of the proportion of expenditure under each heading would be (1) 48 per cent., (2) 19 per cent., (3) 20 per cent., and (4) 13 per cent.