HC Deb 07 April 1964 vol 692 cc783-4
15. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Postmaster-General what decision he has reached on the introduction of colour television in Great Britain; and when colour television broadcasting will commence.

Mr. Bevins

I expect to reach a conclusion on this matter within the next week.

Mr. Dempsey

Will the Postmaster-General bear in mind the fact that considerable public irritation has been caused because of the delay in arriving at a decision? Is he not aware that defeated nations such as Germany and Japan have colour television? Delay is causing uncertainty in the industry, and it is imperative that this decision should be made as soon as is humanly possible.

Mr. Bevins

As I said, I shall announce the decision next week.

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, whereas we pioneered high definition television, in this instance it would be wiser to wait until Europe has decided what system of colour television she is to have before again introducing a system here which is not supported by Continental countries?

Mr. Bevins

That is a very important consideration, and one which I am certainly taking into account.

Mr. Mason

Has the right hon. Gentleman consulted the television industry, television manufacturers and the B.B.C. about the possibility of going it alone, irrespective of European compatibility; what the pitfalls are, and to what extent we could overcome them? Has he discarded completely any possibility of calling another European conference with the object of getting the best colour system for the whole of Europe?

Mr. Bevins

The B.B.C., the I.T.A., and the radio industry form part of the Television Advisory Committee. I have had its advice, and when I have had an opportunity of considering it I will announce my decision.