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Stored-program-controlled (s.p.c.) telephone exchanges have been under active development for the last ten years, and many are now in public service. The problem of economic provision of a system, for the smaller exchanges, has not yet been solved. This paper suggests an alternative approach to that of monolithic control, where the system is completely dependent on a single processor complex. The alternative approach is based on well established electromechanical-system principles of system design, but may still provide the advantages claimed for an s.p.c. system.