HC Deb 07 November 1961 vol 648 cc780-1
15. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Postmaster-General if, in view of the British Broadcasting Corporation's readiness to launch colour television, he will take the appropriate steps to have it implemented.

19. Mr. Lipton

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will ask the Pilkington Commission to make an interim report on the introduction of colour television; and when the final report is expected.

Mr. Bevins

I am still of the view that decisions on future line standards must come before those on colour. Once lineage is settled progress in colour will be possible. Meanwhile, the B.B.C. is continuing with its experimental work.

I hope to have the Report of the Pilkington Committee in the spring. I do not propose to ask the Committee for an interim report on colour.

Mr. Dempsey

Is the Minister aware that the advent of some colour into the homes of this country might bring a little brightness into the lives of the people, especially when one considers the drab consequences of the decadent economic policy of the Government? Will he take into consideration the fact that it will be necessary to consult the industry in general to ensure the peaceful transition to colour on the screens of sets throughout the country?

Mr. Bevins

The answer to the second part of that supplementary question is, of course, yes. With regard to the first part, it would be absurd on economic grounds, and also deplorably unfair to the public, to start colour on a line system which may presently be out of date.

Mr. Lipton

Why do the Government resort to every possible excuse or device to delay the introduction of colour television by way of the B.B.C.? Is it in response to the pressure of commercial interests?

Mr. Bevins

The Government have no desire whatever to hold up the introduction of colour television in this country, but what we are determined to do is to see that when colour comes it comes on the right line standard.