HC Deb 28 October 1953 vol 518 cc2776-7
16. Mr. Smithers

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General when it is expected that the British Broadcasting Corporation's television transmitter in the Isle of Wight will come into operation.

27. Dr. King

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General by what date he hopes to complete the proposed Isle of Wight television station.

Mr. Gammans

I regret that I cannot yet say when the permanent station for the Isle of Wight area will be in operation. The B.B.C. propose, however, to put up a temporary low-power station which will serve a limited area, and that should be working by the end of 1954.

Mr. Smithers

Can my hon. Friend say whether this station will cover the Winchester and Eastleigh areas where reception is very bad and where, otherwise, many people would like to buy television sets?

Mr. Gammans

The British Broadcasting Corporation estimate to serve Portsmouth and Southampton, and as far as Bognor to the East, and Bournemouth to the West, and inland as far as Winchester and Salisbury, so it should cover my hon. Friend's constituency quite satisfactorily.

Dr. King

Will the Minister remember that the Hampshire people have been very patient, and will he not agree that the main job of his Ministry is to see that television services are provided with a coverage for the whole of the country before going into any question of whether we should have commercial television or not?

Mr. Gammans

I hope that is not the main job of my Ministry, which I thought was to deliver letters and provide telephones, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the effect of the figures I have given will be very considerably to increase the area in which television will be available.

Sir J. Lucas

Is my hon. Friend aware how grateful Portsmouth will be for that answer?