HC Deb 28 June 1972 vol 839 cc1424-5
11. Mr. Golding

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications when he intends to announce the establishment of a committee of inquiry into broadcasting.

12. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he will make a statement on the machinery for reviewing the future of broadcasting.

Sir J. Eden

I hope to be in a position to announce a decision shortly.

Mr. Golding

We are getting tired of the answer that the announcement will be made shortly. The Opposition treat television as of supreme social importance. We expect to have an announcement as quickly as possible that a full-scale inquiry is to be established by the Government in order that the future of television and sound broadcasting can be determined.

Sir J. Eden

I am aware of the hon. Member's views. I am sorry that he is tired. As soon as I am ready to answer the Question I will do so.

Mr. Mills

Can my right hon. Friend the Minister give any indication as to the form of the committee? It would be highly advantageous to have a fairly strong, yet compact, body, not dominated by any one group of individuals. Can he assure us that he will be able to look at the fundamental questions, such as whether the BBC's monopoly should be broken and the corporation dissected into smaller parts?

Sir J. Eden

I take note of my hon. Friend's suggestion.

Mr. David Steel

How shortly?

Sir J. Eden

Before very long.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

Will the Minister give us an assurance that because of the special factors which he knows exist in Wales in relation to the language, there will be an urgent and special inquiry in respect of broadcasting in Wales?

Sir. J. Eden

I have already taken note of the point, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, from having had the privilege of attending a debate in the Welsh Grand Committee.