HC Deb 19 March 1925 vol 181 cc2477-8
78. Captain FRASER

asked the Postmaster-General if, considering that in the year 1923-2-1 his Department made a profit of £ 20,000 odd in the administration of broadcast licences, and at the same time collected in advance during this period a large amount of money in respect of licences partly current during the financial year 1924-25, and considering also the increase' in licence payers during the last few months, he will reduce broad-case licence fees from his share of the proceeds, without affecting the sum per licence payable to the British Broad casting Company or, alternatively, will indicate to the House what he proposes to do with present and future profits?

British other than Lascars. Foreign. Lascars.
1920. 1921. 1922. 1920. 1921. 1922. 1920. 1921. 1922.
From Pneumonia 3.7 3.2 2.4 6.6 5.1 4.3 12.1 11.6 7.6
From Phthisis 1.6 1.1 2.0 5.9 1.3 5.2 6.2 4.7 5.6
From All other Diseases 25.0 18.0 18.4 38.8 26.0 25.1 43.6 31.0 27.3
From Accidents and Injuries of all kinds. 27.4 27.7 32.8 52.6 51.9 36.3 12.9 20.0 37.8
NOTE.—For the purposes of this table the sum of the number of persons engaged for the first crew of each merchant vessel employed during the year has been taken as the number of persons employed. The calculations are based on the numbers in each of the three classes.
Viscount WOLMER

The portion of the; licence fee retained by the Post Office is 2s. 6d., against which has to be placed the cost of collection, issue and administration generally. There is at present a reasonable margin, but i am not prepared to say that it would be sufficient in itself to justify any appreciable reduction in the licence fee. The possibility of reducing the fee, as the number of licence-holders increases, will, however, not be lost sight of.

Captain FRASER

May I ask the Noble Lord to give me an answer to the last part of the question?

Viscount WOLMER

I have said that we will not lose sight of the possibility of reducing the licence fee, whenever the financial position allows.