§ 45. Mr. St. John-Stevas
asked the Postmaster-General whether it is now the policy of Her Majesty's Government to alter the fee for the television-radio combined licence.
§ 52. Mr. Channon
asked the Postmaster-General when he will announce the conclusions of Her Majesty's Government in regard to the future of sound broadcasting and, in particular, their conclusions about the possibility of a third frequency devoted to light music.
§ Mr. Edward Short
I would ask the hon. Gentleman to await the White Paper on broadcasting. As the House will be aware, many organisations and interests, including a large number of hon. Gentlemen of this House, have felt it right to make their views known to me, and my colleagues and I are considering them. I hope to publish the White Paper before the Christmas Recess.
§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking now that he will resist the blandishments of the B.B.C. to have a£6 licence fee since this would impose a tax of an extra£1 on almost every family in the country?
§ Mr. Channon
Can the Postmaster-General give an assurance that there will be no debate on the Second Reading of the Marine and Broadcasting (Offences) Bill until this matter has been considered by the House?
§ Mr. Bryan
Does the Postmaster-General recall that before the last election the previous Postmaster-General, in a speech in this House, said that he was 455 in the middle of negotiations with the B.B.C. which suggested that it would be possible to hold the licence fee at the present level for two years? The inference was that those negotiations with the B.B.C. were almost over and that we should be able to have the result of them in literally weeks. Could we please hear the results of those negotiations? Secondly, could we hear also to what extent and at what speed the B.B.C's indebtedness will increase during those two years?