HC Deb 19 February 1946 vol 419 cc953-4
62 and 63. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Information (1) how many wireless licences are in issue at the present time; to what extent he estimates that evasion of payment may be taking place; and what steps he is taking to prevent evasion. (2) If he will postpone the decision to increase the cost of wireless licences until more energetic steps have been taken to collect the revenue already due. The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison): There are at present 9,982,050 wireless licences in force. It is difficult to estimate the extent of evasion of payment of licences, but there is no reason to suppose that this is taking place on a serious scale. Successful steps have been, and are being, taken to detect it and to apply the appropriate remedies. My right hon. Friend cannot therefore agree to postpone the inrcease in the cost of wireless licences as suggested.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is apparently no supervision of the payment of licences in the ordinary home, and there is a feeling that it is very unjust to those who lawfully pay their wireless licences to have the amount of those licences doubled while others are let off scot-free, whose income might remedy the deficit?

Mr. Morrison

I think that is a rather extreme doctrine. If that were to be applied to the observance of all laws I do not know whether any law would exist.

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