Broadcasting Hours

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden 12:00 am, 13th July 1967

asked the Postmaster-General if he will authorise an increase in the hours of television broadcasting.

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

No, Sir. I cannot add to the statement in the White Paper on Broadcasting, which stated that the Government did not consider that any general increase in broadcasting hours would be justified for the present.

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

Now that the B.B.C. has been given a second channel, a monopoly of colour, and 80 showing hours on the two channels, as against 50 for I.T.A., it is not time that the public was allowed to have this extra broadcasting which is perfectly easily available, which the I.T.A. is perfectly willing to supply, and which would cost nothing to those who wish to use it?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

We have the same old fallacy about its costing nothing. Of course it costs something. The question is one of priorities. In the past two months we have undertaken the two biggest technical changes ever made in television in this country since it started, in the change-over to U.H.F. and colour. The B.B.C. has not a monopoly. It is being given to all channels. It is a case of putting first things first. I think we are right to put this first.