HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc372-3
39. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what sums he estimates will be paid to the Independent Television Authority under Sections 11 and 12 of the Television Act during the year beginning with the date of the passing of the Act.

Mr. Gammans

It is too early yet to say.

Mr. Thomson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is widespread shock and dismay throughout the country at the discovery that public money is to be used to subsidise facilities for big business undertakings and a small section of the millionaire Press? Is he aware that the money will be spent in such a way that it will not only prevent real competition in television but will gravely harm the health of the British Press by doing a lot of damage to those newspapers which are not in a position to round up their share of the £3 million capital which is to be the entrance fee for this mammoth closed shop organised by the Government?

Mr. Gammans

The hon. Gentleman asked me what sums I estimated would be paid to the Authority during the year beginning with the date of the passing of the Act. I am afraid that I am not in a position to give that information yet. As soon as I have the information, I shall be delighted to give it.

Mr. Usborne

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that perhaps the best thing that he can do now is to climb into a mailbag and get himself stolen?

Mr. Nabarro

Is not it a fact that this spate of Questions by hon. Gentlemen about political partiality springs from a deep sense of political inferiority?

Several Hon. Members rose


Mr. Speaker

I think that the House has had a fair run on these Questions.

Mr. Mayhew

On a point of order. In view of the extremely unsatisfactory nature of the answers, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

That disposes of that.