HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 c643
24. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Postmaster-General in view of the spread of television aerials and the inadequacy of existing master-aerial services, if he will take steps to establish a Post Office master-aerial system and piped television to compete with the existing firms in this field.

Mr. Joseph Slater

A system for distributing television and sound broadcasts by cable is to be provided by the Post Office in Washington New Town. Further developments will be considered in the light of this trial.

Mr. Roberts

Is my hon. Friend aware that the extension of public activity into the sphere of master-aerials would be very welcome on this side of the House? Would he accept that it is only by Post Office intervention that we can break the near-monopoly of the existing private firms and bring them up to scratch?

Mr. Slater

We hope that the experiment now taking place in the Washington New Town will prove to be the success that we think.

Mr. Bryan

As the Post Office has such difficulty in raising capital, would it not be ridiculous to go into the relay system business, which is notorious for its hunger for capital?

Mr. Slater

This is a comprehensive cable which takes not only telephones but also radio, television and everything else with it.