HC Deb 26 November 1973 vol 865 cc14-5
18. Mr. Stott

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he will publish a White Paper on national telecommunications policy.

Sir J. Eden

No, Sir.

Mr. Stott

Is the Minister aware that, in the absence of any statement there seems to be no coherent policy for Post Office telecommunications, telecommunications manufacture, data transmission or broadcasting? Is it not time that his Department thought seriously about the long-term prospects of this industry in the interests of those who work in it and of the nation as a whole?

Sir J. Eden

The hon. Members has raised a substantial subject. Serious thought is given to this matter and much of the argument was deployed in earlier debates, particularly during the passage of the Post Office Bill recently. If the hon. Gentleman wants to press a particular point, I hope that he will put down a Question.

Mr. Gorst

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider his answer as it relates to the preparation of a statement of policy? There are various sides of the frequency spectrum for which manufacturers would like to develop products, and without a statement of the Government's forward thinking their forward planning is hamstrung.

Sir J. Eden

It is difficult to answer such generalised points. If there is a particular aspect on which my hon. Friend wants further elucidation, I urge him again to write to me or to the Chairman of the Post Office Corporation.