HC Deb 23 July 1958 vol 592 cc394-5
8. Commander Donaldson

asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement regarding the wireless and television services in the Scottish Border area; what improvement is contemplated; and when.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Ernest Marples)

I assume that my hon. Friend has the East Borders particularly in mind. The B.B.C. is very much aware of the difficulties which are being experienced with reception of its sound programmes and that television is not available. But the Light Programme should be satisfactorily received with efficient sets and aerials. The B.B.C. has in mind some extension of its television and V.H.F. sound services to this area but cannot yet quote definite dates.

Secondary or fringe area reception of the I.T.A. programme from Blackhill is available in Peebles. Eventual extension to the East Borders is in mind but definite plans cannot yet be given, although a station which will serve parts of the West Borders is proposed for late 1959 or early 1960. There are a number of technical difficulties to be overcome.

Commander Donaldson

While welcoming part of my right hon. Friend's Answer, may I ask whether he is aware there has been a feeling of increasing anxiety on the borders of Scotland, in Peebles, Roxburgh and Selkirk in particular, that the same energy is not being applied by the engineers of my right hon. Friend's Department to radio and television as has been applied by his efficient executives in other branches of the Ministry?

Mr. Marples

The responsibility for the engineering service of radio and television is not with my Department but with the B.B.C., which is an independent body. It would not be prudent to establish satellite stations until the present experiments with satellite stations have really been completed and the results checked.

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