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asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that television and wireless licences have not been available in post offices in Sheffield for some days; that applicants have been told that licences will not be issued until 1st August; and by what authority persons are thus encouraged to have a television or radio set without the proper licence.
Television licences renewable on 1st August will not be available until that date. We have asked those seeking to renew in advance television licences not expiring until 31st July to renew them on or shortly after 1st August.
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this action on the part of the Post Office, making people renew their licences after the due date with a view to getting extra money, has created a bad impression? Does he realise that it is not really understood by the staff and that people seeking new television licences have been told to wait until 1st August? Is that part of the policy of the Government?
There would have been little or no advantage to anyone who sought to take out a licence in advance of 1st August. Since licences are dated the first of the month in which application is made for them, we could not issue August licences before 1st August. We should require the Royal Assent to the Finance Bill before doing so.