HC Deb 08 December 1971 vol 827 cc1277-8
13. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what proposals he has to reduce the television licence fee for the people in Cornwall who cannot receive a satisfactory signal without a relay system.

Mr. Chataway

None, Sir.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Members of Parliament for Cornish constituencies have been waging a longstanding campaign on this matter, for good reason? Does the right hon. Gentleman think it right that many television viewers should have to pay more for the cost of the supplementary assistance that they get from the television retailers in order to get a signal at all than they pay to the Government in licence fees?

Mr. Chataway

People choose for a variety of reasons to receive their television on relay. If I may say so, I do not think the hon. Gentleman necessarily acts in the best interests of his constituents by arguing that we ought to move away from the standard licence fee. In conurbations the capital cost per household in providing a picture is a matter of shillings, but in some rural areas the cost of providing not even a perfect picture rises to £20. If we were to move away from the standard licence fee there would be a strong argument for charging the cost of getting the picture there.