Wireless Broadcasting.

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office. – in the House of Commons on 31st July 1922.

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Photo of Mr Peter Raffan Mr Peter Raffan , Leigh

100.

asked the Postmaster-General if he has decided to refuse to grant a licence for the use of any wireless apparatus manufactured by a British firm in Great Britain unless the firm in question becomes associated with a certain group of other manufacturers?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

It is intended that the apparatus which may be used for the reception of broadcasted services shall he limited to types submitted by members of the proposed broadcasting company, or companies by which those services will be provided. Any bonâ fide manufacturer of wireless apparatus in this country will be admitted to membership on taking a single qualifying share, and subscribing to conditions to be approved by me.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

What powers does the right hon. Gentleman claim to force manufacturers into a combine, whether or not they wish to join it?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I have not said powers, and do not suggest that I shall exercise any.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

But does not it come to that? The con- sumer is not allowed to buy an instrument from any firm that does not wish to join this association.

Captain BENN:

Will the terms of the licence or arrangement or contract made with these manufacturers, who are to share in the £6,000,000 in the next few years, be laid before the House of Commons?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I have given an undertaking that any Regulations made shall be laid on the Table of the House.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

In addition to making these Regulations, will the right hon. Gentleman see that the consumers, at any rate, get these things at a reasonable price?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

That is, I think, essential. The fact that every bona fide manufacturers of wireless in this country will be allowed to provide these instruments is sufficient guarantee that there will be no inflation of prices.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY:

Is the right hon. Gentleman going to revise the prices?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I should he very sorry to revise prices, but the facts that I have stated as to manufacture will secure effective competition.

Captain BENN:

How is the right hon. Gentleman going to enforce the terms of this arrangement?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

I do not know that there will be any difficulty in that.

Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD:

How is the right hon. Gentleman going to protect the interests of the foreign importers?

Photo of Mr Frederick Kellaway Mr Frederick Kellaway , Bedford

That is the difficulty, but I have no intention of interfering.