HC Deb 24 March 1958 vol 585 cc7-8
10. Mr. Anthony Greenwood

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what additional overseas broadcasting services it is planned to start in the coming year.

Dr. Hill

The rearrangement of the external services of the British Broadcasting Corporation, outlined in the White Paper Cmnd. 225, is nearing completion. The Hausa, Swahili and Somali services were started in 1957 with twice-weekly broadcasts of fifteen minutes each. On 11th March, 1958, a third weekly broadcast was added to the Somali service, and within a month a daily fifteen-minute programme of news and topical comment will probably be added to the Swahili service. It is hoped to increase the Hausa and the Somali services to one programme daily. The Government are actively pursuing the question of the production in the Middle East of a light programme.

Mr. Greenwood

Will the right hon. Gentleman state the present position in regard to the Scandinavian and Portuguese services? Is he satisfied that sufficiently rapid progress is being made to develop broadcasting services to the Middle East?

Dr. Hill

In answer to the first part of that supplementary question, the position remains as it was at the time of the publication of the White Paper. The decisions in relation to Scandinavia and Portugal have been adhered to. I cannot as yet report further upon the Middle East.