§ 25. Sir J. Maitland
asked the Postmaster-General if he will ensure that full coverage, to enable all existing broadcasting and television programmes to be heard and seen efficiently at all times in all parts of England, and in particular Lincolnshire, is provided before he takes any action to extend the scope of broadcasting or to increase the cost of licences with the object of creating new broadcasting services.
§ Miss Pike
Both the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. have plans for improving and extending the coverages of their services in England, and these will go ahead.
As far as Lincolnshire is concerned, my right hon. Friend had already approved B.B.C. proposals for television satellite stations at Skegness and Grimsby, and for a V.H.F. sound station for east Lincolnshire. These should all be in operation by 1964. The possibility of using band III frequencies for improving the coverage of B.B.C. and I.T.A. television in east Lincolnshire will be given early consideration.
§ Sir J. Maitland
Does the Minister consider that there is any chance of the cost of the licence being increased before these things come into operation? Does not it seem very hard that some people who have television sets which receive only half of the programmes, or who can hear only a certain number of programmes on the other system, should have to pay a higher charge to enable other people to have expensive and new services?
§ Sir C. Osborne
Will my hon. Friend look at the correspondence which I sent to her right hon. Friend about the Grimsby area where it seems that the reception of B.B.C. programmes is a great deal worse than that of I.T.V. programmes? Cannot something be done for these people before 1964? Why should they have to wait until that time?
§ Mr. W. R. Williams
Is the hon. Lady aware that the views expressed by the hon. Member for Horncastle (Sir J. Maitland) and by the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) are shared by hon. Members on this side of the House as well as by viewers? Is she aware that there is a feeling that this development has not had the degree of priority which it should have had? May I ask her, therefore, to convey to her right hon. Friend the sense of urgency felt by hon. Members on both sides of the House about the need for a high priority for this service?