HL Deb 22 March 1955 vol 192 cc3-4

2.38 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the hours of broadcasting for the Independent Television Authority have yet been decided.]


My Lords, I have fully discussed this question of television broadcasting hours with the I.T.A. and the B.B.C., and I have agreed to the following arrangements, which will apply to both organisations. For the five days, Monday to Friday, there will be a maximum of 35 hours actual broadcasting, with a maximum of 8 hours on any one day. Subject to this overall limitation, broadcasting will not start before 9 a.m. or go on after 11 p.m. at the latest. There will be a closed period from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and not more than 2 hours broadcasting before 1 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday there will be a maximum of 15 hours actual broadcasting for the two days, with a maximum of 8 hours on Saturday and 7¾ hours on Sunday.

Broadcasting on Saturday will be permitted between the same hours as for Monday to Friday. Broadcasting on Sunday will be permitted between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m., with a closed period from 6.15 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. and a change of programme at 7.45 p.m. This closed period and change of programme at 7.45 p.m. have been arranged to meet the view of the Churches that television programmes should as far as possible avoid the time of Sunday evening services. To meet Church opinion, also, it has been agreed at the original suggestion of the programme companies that any programmes between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays—the normal Sunday School period—shall be designed for adults.

Religious services may be broadcast outside the permitted hours and in addition to the daily maximum; on individual occasions the daily maximum may be exceeded in order to broadcast outside events.


My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the noble Earl for that statement, which I think will be particularly valuable because there has been a good deal of speculation in the Press. May I ask him whether these arrangements about times of broadcasting and hours of broadcasting have been agreed between the I.T.A. and the B.B.C.?


My Lords, they have been agreed between myself and both parties. There have been informal discussions between the two parties themselves, but I was at the centre of the discussions.