Hours of Broadcasting

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Sir Spencer Summers Sir Spencer Summers , Aylesbury 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will increase the number of hours per day during which television may be shown so that commercial rather than statutory considerations may be the limiting factor in giving service to the public.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

At present, I am not contemplating any change in the maximum hours for television, which are based on an agreement with the British Broad casting Corporation and the Independent Television Authority.

Photo of Sir Spencer Summers Sir Spencer Summers , Aylesbury

Is the Minister aware mat there are a number of minority groups of viewers, particularly shift workers, who are not able to see the television programmes owing to the restriction of times? Is he further aware that I.T.V. is eager to serve the public? Why should it be restricted by any statutory limitation from giving the proper service to the public?

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

I have not so far had a communication from the I.T.A. asking to be allowed to increase the hours, but it is not only a question of the quantity of the programmes. The general quality and balance has also to be borne in mind.

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West

Does not the Postmaster-General think it is an undesirable principle to allow the number of hours of television programmes to be dependent on the amount of advertising available?

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

The present number of hours has been agreed with the B.B.C. and the I.T.A., and no evidence has been produced to me that the number of hours should be altered at the moment. If the evidence is forthcoming, I should like to look at it.