HC Deb 21 November 1951 vol 494 cc360-1
12. Mr. Rupert Speir

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General when he anticipates it will be possible to provide a better broadcasting and television service for residents in the North-East of England; and, in particular, when work will be resumed on Pontop Pike television station.

Mr. Gammans

The best hope for an improved sound broadcasting service in North-East England lies in the use of very high frequencies, but owing to defence and economic requirements it is too early to say when this will be possible. For the same reason I am unable to forecast when work will be resumed on the Pontop Pike television station, but it will be as soon as circumstances allow.

Mr. Speir

Is it not a fact that there are two transmitters at Holme Moss, one a main transmitter and the other a low-power transmitter, and cannot consideration be given to using the low-power transmitter for Pontop Pike?

Mr. Gammans

That is another question. Perhaps my hon. Friend will put it down.

20. Mr. Charles Grey

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General why a wavelength has been made available for the United Nations whilst for a considerable time this facility has been refused for the North-East coastal area.

Mr. Gammans

At the request of the United Nations the proceedings of the Sixth Session of the General Assembly are being relayed for about 4½ hours during the day time by the B.B.C. transmitter at Daventry on the wavelength 464 metres. These relays have been made possible by a temporary re-arrangement in the B.B.C.'s European Service which normally uses this wavelength during the day. The wavelength continues to be used for the Third Programme from 6 p.m. onwards.

Mr. Grey

Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that people in the North-East have felt the full effect of a disgusting Home Service transmission from Stagshaw, and that when in July, 1945, the B.B.C. commenced to operate for the North-East on the frequency transmitter for Northern Ireland it was explained that the arrangements was only of a temporary nature until a further wavelength was secured? Is he aware that since then a wavelength has been secured and yet the North-East has been denied this facility? [HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]

Can he tell us how long North-East folk will have to tolerate this disgusting state of affairs, or whether they have to reconcile themselves to the fact that what was said at the time to be a temporary arrangement is now to be permanent?

Mr. Speaker

Supplementary questions should be kept short.

Mr. Gammans

The matter raised by the hon. Member does not really arise from this Question. The only solution is the introduction of a very high frequency.

Mr. Edward Short

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree there is no community of interest, as far as local affairs are concerned, between Northern Ireland and the North-East of England? Does he not agree that this very populous and very important and highly productive area of the country should have its own wavelength as soon as possible?

Mr. Gammans

I agree about the hon. Member's second point. I hope he does not ask me to express an opinion on the first point he made.

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