HC Deb 14 March 1956 vol 550 cc353-4
2. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Postmaster-General what progress has been made towards the opening of the radio and television station proposed to serve Carlisle.

13. Mr. Vane

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is yet in a position to make a statement about radio and television services in the north-west of England.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)

The B.B.C. has proposed a site for a television and V.H.F. broadcasting station in the Carlisle area and my right hon. Friend is discussing the matter with it. I hope that it may be possible to start work on this station this year.

Dr. Johnson

While thanking my hon. Friend for his information, is he aware of the disappointment that will be felt by my constituents and others in the Carlisle area that they are unable to see the Cup Final this year? Would he consider on that account moving the mobile transmitter from Pontop Pike which has previously served the Newcastle area?

Mr. Alport

I sympathise with my hon. Friend's constituents in this matter. I would willingly study the practicability of his proposal.

Mr. Vane

Does my hon. Friend intend to use this site to construct a station for television as well as for radio? Can he give any idea of when the reception in this whole area is likely to be improved?

Mr. Alport

The station will cover both television and sound radio. It is hoped that the opening of the station will be towards the end of 1957, which is the provisional date.

Mr. Whitelaw

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the meanwhile it would help the viewing of major sporting events if the Kirk o'Shotts transmitter, which viewers in Cumberland can see, could be persuaded for these very short times to foresake some of its purely Scottish interests?

Mr. Alport

It would not be right to make any promise on this matter. I have already promised that we will do our best to go into the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Dr. D. Johnson) that we move the transmitter to serve viewers in that part of the country.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Arising out of my hon. Friend's replies, would it not be quite wrong for Kirk o'Shotts ever to foresake its Scottish interest?

Mr. Alport

Let me assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I will in no way forget the interests of Scotland.