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Television Reception, North-East Area

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Ainsley Mr John Ainsley , North West Durham 12:00 am, 7th July 1964

asked the Postmaster-General what steps are being taken to improve television reception in the whole north-east area.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

Television stations are being built by the B.B.C. and by the I.T.A. at Belmont to serve the whole of Lincolnshire and part of the East Riding; at Scarborough to serve the Scarborough-Filey area; and by the B.B.C. in Weardale. A new 1,250 ft. mast at Emley Moor will be shared by the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. and will be used to transmit B.B.C. 2 to south Yorkshire and will improve reception of independent television over much of the North-East.

I am also studying B.B.C. proposals for additional satellite stations.

Photo of Mr John Ainsley Mr John Ainsley , North West Durham

In view of that long statement from the right hon. Gentleman, may I ask if he is aware that one can liken it to old-fashioned railway coaches—first, second and third-class passengers? Is he aware that in the North-East we are now suffering increasingly from the fact that there comes on television the notice "Do not adjust your set. It is international interference over which we have no control." This is B.B.C. 1. People in the North-East have no idea of B.B.C. 2. Why is the right hon. Gentleman restricting people in the North-East to B.B.C. 1? Is the right hon. Gentleman further aware that one-third of my constituents have B.B.C. none? When will the right hon. Gentleman give some semblance of justice to the people in the North-East?

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

I indicated in my reply that the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. between them are doing a great deal to improve reception in the North-East. I am not clear from what the hon. Gentleman said whether he wants B.B.C. 2 as well as B.B.C. 1 or not.

Photo of Mr Paul Williams Mr Paul Williams , Sunderland South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that most people in the North-East are extremely grateful for the advance he is making in putting a relay station in Weardale, and would like to express their appreciation to him for this? Also, would he in future when answering Questions about the North-East not include Lincolnshire?

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

Yes, Sir, indeed, but there have been so many Questions on this subject that it was difficult to avoid that.

Mr. Slater:

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that his hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) has little knowledge of the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Durham, Northwest (Mr. Ainsley)? Also, can he tell the House what is being done to obviate the disturbance that we are suffering from as a result of foreign interference?

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

I have already answered several questions on the second point mentioned by the hon. Member. As to the position of my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams), I seem to recall the by-election result at Sunderland some years ago which was not too bad at all.