HC Deb 18 May 1960 vol 623 cc1248-9
11. Mr. Ainsley

asked the Postmaster-General what further consultations have taken place on the television reception in the Weardale and Teesdale area, County Durham, with the object of improving reception.

Mr. Bevins

The B.B.C. tell me it will be considering what can be done to improve television reception in Weardale and Teesdale when it plans later stages of its satellite proposals. The I.T.A. also knows that reception is difficult in some parts of this area, but it is not yet in a position to make firm plans for filling in gaps in its coverage.

Mr. Ainsley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is a most unsatisfactory Answer, because I received the same reply last year? Will not he give some semblance of social justice to these people? Will he approach his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask him to remove the annual fee, because these people are paying private enterprise in order to get some semblance of a picture? Will not the right hon. Gentleman remove this social injustice as quickly as possible?

Mr. Bevins

I cannot give the hon. Member an affirmative answer to the last part of his question. I do, however, realise the difficulties in that part of the country, and so, indeed, do the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. What is needed, both in Weardale and in Teesdale—this is the view of the B.B.C—is low-powered translators, which I am assured by the B.B.C. it has in mind for the third stage of its satellite programme.

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