HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc1468-9
35. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Postmaster-General for what purpose he limits the hours at which television transmissions can be made.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Edward Short)

Under the agreed rules on hours of broadcasting I do not limit the hours at which television transmissions can be made; television programmes may be shown at any time provided that the rules on the number of hours of broadcasting are followed.

The reasons why successive Governments have thought it right to retain control of the number of hours of television broadcasting are set out in paragraphs 44 to 47 of the White Paper on Broadcasting (Cmnd. 3169).

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Should not the number of hours of broadcasting be limited by the judgment of the two authorities as to what is the public demand and their ability to fulfil it, rather than by the right hon. Gentleman setting himself up as the judge?

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman has a very short memory. The powers of the Postmaster-General to control broadcasting were re-enacted in great detail by the party opposite when in office in the Television Act, 1963, and the B.B.C. Licence and Agreement of which the House approved in January, 1964.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not quite clear that we are already getting enough rubbish on television without extending the time during which this rubbish is unloaded on a long-suffering public?