HC Deb 06 March 1939 vol 344 cc1742-3
38. Mr. E. Smith

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the public desire within a 50-mile radius of Manchester for a television service; what are the prospects of such a service; and will he consult with the British Broadcasting Corporation with a view to having a television station constructed on a site that will enable the people of this area to have the opportunity of a television service?

42. Mr. Burke

asked the Postmaster-General whether the Television Advisory Committee has given any indication as to whether the time has arrived for the extension of television services to centres outside London?

Sir W. Wormersley

The extension of the television service to areas outside the range of the London Station involves serious problems both technical and financial. On the advice of the Television Advisory Committee technical research is being undertaken in regard to possible methods of relaying television programmes from London to other centres; but this research work is likely to occupy a considerable time; and it is feared that no decision concerning the extension of the service to other centres can be reached in the near future.

Sir N. Stewart Sandeman

Can we have the semi-final of the English Cup televised?

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not a fact that there are lines in existence which would carry television, and that those lines are being used by the Post Office for other purposes?

Sir W. Womersley

It is not a fact that the Post Office are using the lines for other purposes, but it is a fact that we cannot use them at the present time, and that further technical research will be necessary before we can extend television. In reply to the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Middleton (Sir N. Stewart Sandeman) I may say that I should be very pleased to see the Cup semi-final televised because Grimsby Town will be playing the semi-final.

Mr. Thorne

Would there be any difficulty in hon. Members of this House going to Broadcasting House to see television?

Sir W. Womersley

Under the arrangements it is open for any hon. Member to go to Alexandra Palace to see television for himself.

Mr. Thorne

I meant Broadcasting House.

Mr. Kirby

Is the hon. Member aware that in the television district around Manchester there is one-third of the population of this country, and are they not entitled to this service as well as the people in the London area?

Sir W. Womersley

I am well aware of the position, and the Postmaster-General and myself are very anxious to get television into all the big centres as soon as possible.

Mr. Logan

Is there any truth in the idea that the Government are afraid of television in the North as it might show the representation of this House?

39. Mr. Day

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will give the House any further information regarding the advancement of television?

Sir W. Womersley

I would refer the hon. Member to the annual report of the British Broadcasting Corporation for 1938, which has just been published as Command Paper 5951 and contains an account of the progress of the television service during that year. I would also refer the hon. Member to my answer to the questions on the subject of the television services which the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. E. Smith) and the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Burke) have on the Order Paper for to-day.

Mr. Day

May we be informed whether there is any prospect of any Provincial centres being linked up with this service?

Sir W. Womersley

If the hon. Member will look in the Official Report tomorrow he will see that in answer to previous questions this afternoon I have already stated the position.