HC Deb 07 March 1956 vol 549 cc2093-4
20. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Postmaster-General what account he requires from the Independent Television Authority of moneys advanced to them under Section 11 of the 1954 Act; and to what extent he requires their detailed application to be submitted to him for approval.

Dr. Hill

No question arises of the Independent Television Authority's accounting for moneys under Section II or its application of them, because no payment has been made to the Authority under that Section.

Mr. Ness Edwards

In view of the information given to the House last week by the right hon. Gentleman in regard to the establishment of a separate news sergive run by the I.T.A. and the organisation of political programmes by the I.T.A., would any money expended in that way out of grants provided by Parliament require the approval of the Postmaster-General?

Dr. Hill

Yes, Sir. There are two sets of grants or payments. The first is under Section 11 of the 1954 Act, which is the annual, or possibility of an annual, payment of £750,000 a year. Such payments can be made only on the decision of the Postmaster-General with the concurrence of the Treasury. They would be elements in an Estimate or Supplementary Estimate, and would come before the House in that form.

Mr. Hobson

Are we to understand from the right hon. Gentleman's reply that the accounts in relation to the provision of £2 million capital for the I.T.A. are only to be seen within the accounts of the Consolidated Fund?

Dr. Hill

I was referring particularly to grants under Section 11. Under Section 12, which deals with capital payments, those sums need to be accounted for within the ambit of Section 15 of the Act.