HC Deb 08 November 1950 vol 480 cc919-20
17. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Postmaster-General when building of the new Scottish television station is to commence; and when the station is likely to begin operating.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Building has already commenced, and the B.B.C. hopes that the station will be brought into service by about the end of 1951.

Mr. Stewart

In view of the expectations of the Scottish people, is it not possible for the commencement of that station to be advanced substantially from that far off date?

Mr. Ness Edwards

This is really a matter for the B.B.C. I have gone into the matter with them, and I cannot see that it is physically possible to make greater speed than that provided in the time schedule quoted.

Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the United States of America they can build and bring into operation a new television station in three months, and have done so; and is this not, therefore, an unnecessary delay in bringing in the Scottish and other regional television stations?

Mr. Ness Edwards

There is no obligation upon me to defend the day-to-day policy of the B.B.C. in this matter. I understand, however, that in America the area covered by their stations is very much smaller than the one proposed for Scotland.

Mr. John MacLeod

Will this station have its own studios to make its own Scottish television, or will it merely be relaying English programmes?

Mr. Ness Edwards

I should like to see that question on the Order Paper.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

In view of the many functions which will have to be televised in connection with the Festival of Britain, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that some steps should be taken to try to advance the date to include that period when the Festival of Britain is operating all over Scotland as well as in London?

Mr. Ness Edwards

I will certainly convey the sentiments of the House to the B.B.C., but it is primarily their responsibility.

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