HC Deb 17 December 1958 vol 597 cc1111-2
19 Mr. Grey

asked the Postmaster-General (1) if he is now in a position to make a statement concerning the future of colour television;

(2) what are the technical difficulties which prevent colour television from becoming an established fact; and

(3) if he will state the rate of progress that has been made toward the possibility of colour television.

Mr. Marples

The broad position is as stated in my reply to the right hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirling (Mr. Woodburn) on 5th November. The main technical problems are the system to be used, the definition standards to be adopted and the production of a reliable and economic colour receiver. As the hon. Member knows, the Television Advisory Committee has been asked to report as soon as possible.

Mr. Grey

Will the Postmaster-General say what reactions there have been towards the principle of colour television? In view of the fact that the North-East has had a raw deal over a shared wavelength, will he consider the North-East having priority when coloured television comes?

Mr. Marples

I think we must await the report of the Television Advisory Committee. The question of coloured television is largely a technical one and should not be taken lightly. It will influence the course of events in this country for years to come.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Can we have an assurance that no decision will be taken on this matter without informing the House, in view of the fact that there is a great deal of controversy about the linage and compatibility?

Mr. Marples

I would rather look at the report carefully and place a copy in the Library and see where we go from there.

Mr. Popplewell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he hopes to receive the report?

Mr. Marples

I am pressing as hard as possible and hope to receive it at the end of January.