HC Deb 07 November 1961 vol 648 cc779-80
9. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that the commercial television companies made £26 million net profit last year; and if he will now introduce legislation requiring them to devote a part of this sum to providing the £4 annual television licence to old age pensioners or permanently disabled people living on their own.

Miss Pike

At least part of the subject raised in the hon. Member's Question is within the terms of reference of the Committee on Broadcasting whose Report my right hon. Friend hopes to receive in the spring. Meanwhile, my right hon. Friend would be opposed, on general grounds, to subsidising licence holders.

Mr. Allaun

Could the Minister arrange for the Pilkington Committee to receive evidence on this from the old age pensioners' associations? Does he realise what a boon it is for old people living alone to have television? Is it not wrong that those who enjoy television the most are, as things are, the least able to afford to have it?

Miss Pike

Anyone wishing to put evidence to the Pilkington Committee is at liberty to do so.