HC Deb 06 April 1967 vol 744 cc428-9
3. Mr. Winnick

asked the Postmaster-General if he will introduce legislation to make consultation with him obligatory before the award of contracts with the Independent Television Authority.

Mr. Edward Short

The present arrangements derive from the Television Act, 1963. It would be premature to make any change at least until I have seen how they work in practice. I am watching the present position with care.

Mr. Winnick

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that, since the introduction of commercial television, millions and millions of £s have been made by people who have no interest in the medium other than for a licence to print their own money? Would he not agree, further, that the Chairman of the I.T.A. has far too much power and authority to decide who should receive the next commercial television contracts?

Mr. Short

Without being drawn into the first point, the Chairman of the I.T.A. is carrying out the duty laid upon him by this House. Until that is changed he has to carry out that duty.

Mr. Bryan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has given a very good reply and that this country would be very anxious if it were thought that pressures from Parliament were being put on the genuinely Independent Television Authority?