HC Deb 16 November 1949 vol 469 cc1997-9
9. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Postmaster-General if he will now state when he proposes to establish a high-power television station in Wales; if his plan contemplates making this service available to the whole of Wales; and if he is aware that any such station placed on the southern coast of the Bristol Channel will be of no use to many of the populous areas of South Wales.

11. Mr. Price-White

asked the Postmaster-General what proposals he has for the provision of a television service for North, Mid, and South Wales; and whether it is proposed to establish a television station in Wales itself.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

The BBC. proposes to build a high-power station and possibly also a low-power station in the Bristol Channel area and is making local tests to find which site or sites would enable the best service to be given to the greatest number of people. Until these tests are complete it is not possible to say whether a television station will be established in Wales itself, or to determine the precise coverage in South Wales of the station or stations to be provided. In view of the limited number of wavelengths available, it has not so far been possible to make proposals for additional stations for North and Mid-Wales.

Mr. Davies

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Welsh people will take very great exception to any television service coming to Wales from outside Wales, and that they will not be satisfied until a television station is established in Wales to be conducted in the manner that Welsh people would desire?

Mr. Paling

My hon. Friend can rest assured that the B.B.C. and the other people concerned will do all in their power to give Wales a good television service.

Colonel Hutchison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Scotland will be very glad to get television, whether it comes from outside or not; also is he able to say whether the plan, outlined by the Lord President of the Council after devaluation, has been affected by the subsequent economy cuts, and, if so, can he make a statement as to what the effect will be?

Mr. Paling

No, Sir. At the moment I cannot say what the effect will be.

Mr. Davies

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that Wales is a nation—

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Mr. Medland.

Mr. Medland

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that before setting up a television station in Wales, which would necessitate the purchase of television sets which the people cannot buy, it would be better to build a post office in Plymouth so that we can buy stamps?

Mr. Price-White

Is the Minister aware that following the erection of the station which he recently announced, and having regard to the known effective reception area today, a fixed coastal belt from the Dee down to Pembroke will be entirely without a television service? If it is sufficient under the existing wireless arrangements to provide a station in Wales, why not a television station? Is he also aware that to associate South Wales with the Bristol Channel area is like showing a red rag to a bull?

Mr. Paling

I do not think it is possible to say that. As I said, this matter is being considered. I do not think it is possible to say yet what particular coverage will be given, either in this particular case or other cases.

Mr. Cobb

Would the right hon. Gentlemen bear in mind that if Scotsmen want their own television programme the Sassenachs will subsidise it?