As my hon. Friend informed the House on 1st March, Her Majesty's Government are giving further consideration to the recommendations of the Drogheda Committee; there will be no change in the present pattern of external broadcasting until this examination of the long-term issues is completed.
In making this examination, which seems to have taken an unconscionably long time considering that the Report was in the hands of the Government last July, will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that one of the recommendations is to reduce the services to Western Europe, which cost only £135,000, and that to do that would be very foolish in present circumstances, especially in view of the increase in the broadcasts of the Soviet Union to Scandinavia and the rest of Western Europe?
The hon. Gentleman says that the present pattern will be preserved pending this decision of the Government. Does that mean output, not merely financial amount? The costs of these services go up sometimes, and if we maintain a financial ceiling that may reduce the output.