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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Bowden Mr Herbert Bowden , Leicester South West 12:00 am, 13th May 1965

If we had faced the position in October, 1964, and had given the increase for which the B.B.C. asked, it would have been a £6 licence and 25s. for sound. That would not have been too much. It would have given the B.B.C. what it wanted, to cover additional expenditure and the work which, quite rightly, it was carrying out on instructions from the former Administration. The question was what should be done immediately. We decided to increase the licence fee to £5, which happens later this year. In the meantime we are reviewing the whole position.

It has been said on two or three occasions but it cannot be said too often that the ceiling oflicences having been probably reached at about 13½ million, every additional penny that the B.B.C. requires for the additional work that it carries out, or because of increased costs, has to come out of an increased licence fee or from a Government subsidy or perhaps from advertising revenue. The money has to be found. The review is therefore looking at the whole position from that point of view.