HC Deb 03 February 1983 vol 36 cc401-2
3. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with the workings of section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, as amended, concerning the terms and conditions on which licences are issued to cable television operators.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Mellor)

In general the present arrangements work satisfactorily, but the control of cable operators will be reorganised under the Government's proposals for cable expansion.

Mr. Wigley

Has the Under-Secretary of State had any applications from cable operators in Wales to change from the S4C service to the general United Kingdom service? If so, will he give an assurance that the existing S4C service will be given a fair time to run before a decision is taken? Will he also give an assurance that any poll that may be taken will be conducted on a fair basis, not just in shops belonging to the company involved as the cable operator?

Mr. Mellor

I think that the hon. Gentleman is aware of the one application that has been received and that the reasons for rejecting it were made clear in the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 28 October. I have nothing to add, except that we accept the recommendation of the Committee on Welsh Affairs. We would require clear evidence of a genuine majority wishing for change before we would allow it.

Mr. Marlow

Does my hon. Friend believe that the suggestion that there should be an Asian cable television service in Greenwich will in the long run assist racial harmony and integration, which is so important in Britain?

Mr. Mellor

The Government's proposals on the wider use of cable television will be announced in due course. I shall bear in mind what my hon. Friend said.