HC Deb 18 July 1922 vol 156 cc1889-90
32. Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

asked the Postmaster-General whether any decision has been reached as to the terms and conditions under which licences for wireless broadcasting are to be issued; and whether the licences are to contain a provision that only British instruments shall be used?


I have intimated to a committee, representing the manufacturers of wireless apparatus in this country, the conditions on which I propose to grant licences for broadcasting, and I understand these proposals will be submitted to the general body of manufacturers forthwith. I have informed the manufacturers that, in the event of their supplying the capital required and providing efficient broadcasting services, I will agree that the apparatus, which it will be permissible to use under the Post Office licence for the reception of those services, shall for two years be restricted to apparatus manufactured in Great Britain.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

May I ask the Leader of the House whether, before any definite understanding is come to in that connection, the House will have an opportunity of discussing what is a novel form of procedure and of monopoly?

Colonel NEWMAN

Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask whether he has power to do this?


Yes, Sir; power is given to me under the Act passed by this House.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

What, to impose a protective system?


No, to issue licences, and it is inconceivable to me that we should allow a new form of communication in this country to be exploited by foreign manufacturers.

Captain BENN

Does that mean that the right hon. Gentleman is going to undertake advantage of his powers of license to impose in this hole-and-corner way a protective system in this country?


It is not a protective system, but merely a proper method of protecting a new means of communication in this country.


In view of the widespread unemployment in this country, is not the decision a perfectly proper one?