HC Deb 08 July 1959 vol 608 cc1353-4
46. Mr. Bingham

asked the Postmaster-General what plans exist for relaxing the rules for televising outside events or for television on Sunday mornings.

Mr. K. Thompson

Broadcasts of outside events up to a limit of 200 hours a year did not count towards the weekly basic hours. My right hon. Friend increased that limit to 350 hours for 1958 and the current year. He has now decided that the higher limit should continue for the future. The restrictions on television broadcasting before 2 p.m. on Sundays will also be lifted. Up to the present, only broadcasts of outside events, religious programmes and Welsh language programmes have been allowed, the latter in the period from noon to 2 p.m. The B.B.C. and I.T.A. have assured my right hon. Friend that they will continue to broadcast Sunday morning church services, and on that basis their Central Religious Advisory Committee raise no objection to the change. Moreover, this change will not lead to any reduction of the output of programmes in the Welsh language.

Mr. Bingham

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the consultations he has had on the Sunday proposals are sufficient to inform him adequately as to the state of religious opinion generally in regard to his proposals?

Mr. Thompson

Both the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. are advised by their Central Religious Advisory Committee, which reflects the main stream of religious thought in the country. The assurance they have been given ought to be adequate for the purpose.