§ 1. Mr. Gwynoro Jones
asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what percentage of the population of Wales receive the British Broadcasting Corporation Wales Channel; and what is the figure for Carmarthenshire.
§ The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (Mr. Christopher Chataway)
The B.B.C. tells me that, providing efficient sets and aerials are used, 74 per cent. of the population of Wales and 48 per cent. of the population of Carmarthenshire should be able to receive the very high frequency transmissions of B.B.C. Wales.
§ Mr. Jones
I thank the Minister for that reply, but is he aware that there is a great deal of concern in Carmarthen-shire, basically a Welsh-speaking county, with 70 per cent. to 75 per cent. speaking Welsh, at the inability of half of the population there not only to receive Welsh language programmes but even to receive English language programmes relating to Wales? Will the Minister indicate when the Carmel U.H.F. station, now transmitting B.B.C.2, will be able to transmit B.B.C. Wales programmes, and what will be the increase in the coverage? Further, is the Minister aware that in areas of North Carmarthenshire and Mid-Wales there is a great deal of concern, regarding not only B.B.C. Wales but all channels, at the poor reception or lack of coverage?
§ Mr. Chataway
I am not able to give a date for the Carmel transmissions of B.B.C. Wales, but when they are available they will be receivable, I am told, by 62 per cent. of the population of Carmarthenshire. On the more general point, 97 per cent. of the population of Wales can now receive either B.B.C.1 or B.B.C. Wales. Many people in the rest of Great Britain would be surprised to know that a substantial number of people in Wales have the choice between three B.B.C. stations and two I.T.V. stations.