HC Deb 10 March 1954 vol 524 cc2222-3
17. Mr. Driberg

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General why it is assumed that the television licence revenue must cover Post Office costs for dealing with interference; and if he will examine the possibility of recovering some part of these costs from undertakings causing the interference.

Mr. Gammans

As the hon. Member probably knows, the costs in question are the costs of tracing the causes of interference—not the costs of effecting cures. This is part of the process of ensuring good reception of the television service and, in the Government's view, is proper to be borne by television viewers in general.

Mr. Driberg

Can the Assistant Postmaster-General say whether in most of these cases, when the cause is traced, it is something which the firms in question, the electricity authority or whoever it is, could have dealt with themselves beforehand, or are they interfering wilfully, as it were?

Mr. Gammans

They could have dealt with it, I think, if they had known the reasons for it. We find that in the vast majority of cases when the cause of interference is traced there is not much difficulty in dealing with it.

Mr. Hobson

Will the Assistant Postmaster-General expedite the laying before this House of regulations under the Wireless Telegraphy Act to deal with this problem?

Mr. Gammans

I hope that we shall be able to lay them before the House before very long.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Is not one of the greatest causes of interference old motor vehicles which do not come under present regulations, and which both he and the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Hobson) have consistently refused to deal with?

Mr. Gammans

We have not consistently refused to deal with them. The only way in which they can be dealt with effectively is by employing a vast body of inspectors, and that we do not propose to do.