§ 9. Mr. Boston
asked the Postmaster-General what progress he is making in his review of broadcasting services; what main points are under consideration; and when he hopes to complete his review.
§ 25. Mr. Jackson
asked the Postmaster-General if he will now make a statement on his review of broadcasting services.
§ Mr. Benn
The Government's review of broadcasting policy is proceeding. The main matters under consideration are: the allocation of the fourth television channel; the development of educational broadcasting; local sound broadcasting; pay-television; colour television and, of course, the whole question of broadcasting finance. The review will be completed as soon as possible.
§ Mr. Boston
Will my right hon. Friend accept that we are very glad that he is making this comprehensive review? In view of the growing concern about local sound broadcasting, can he say how he 504 is getting on with that and when the review on that aspect is likely to be completed? Is he prepared to announce decisions on separate parts of the review instead of waiting until the end? In the case of local sound broadcasting, is he prepared to allow the B.B.C. in the interim to go ahead with pilot schemes, as it is ready to do so?
§ Mr. Benn
With regard to the latter part of that supplementary question, the answer is "no". We hope that the review will not take all that time. It might be possible to announce some decisions in advance of the final statement, but many of these issues hang together and we have taken them together for this purpose.
§ Mr. Jackson
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is great public support for the fourth channel being used as a university of the air?
§ Mr. Gibson-Watt
The right hon. Gentleman has told us nothing in answer to the Question about the review. Is there some hope that he may be able to tell us something tomorrow in the debate?
§ Mr. Frederic Harris
When does the right hon. Gentleman believe that colour-television will be available to the viewing public in this country?