HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 cc2-3W
47. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he is satisfied with the progress being made in the use of television material by the oversea information services; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Hill

Although sound is still the main broadcasting medium in many countries, it is the Government's policy to take full advantage of the growing scope and importance of television. A substantial expansion of television film production has already taken place.

It is now possible to offer between 25 and 40 minutes a week of British material to the principal stations in many countries. The objective stated in Cmnd. 225 is to be able to offer about one hour a week of British material and this is expected to be achieved by the end of 1958. Out of 48 countries with television services, 33 now regularly transmit British material.

Television news services take three forms: a news item service and a made-up newsreel—both weekly—for general distribution and a service of news briefs specially prepared for the United States.

Special television programme material is produced for Canada, Australia, United States, Latin America, and the Middle East. In addition, other film material giving a background of information about Britain is re-edited for television use overseas.

The Government welcomes the increasing co-operation of firms and trade associations in providing facilities and film material for these services.

The regular service of television material now established is capable of carrying a wide variety of information messages, often at short notice. Recent examples include: a Comonwealth teleview in which the Prime Minister discussed his tour of Commonwealth countries, interviews in which the Colonial Secretary discussed the Government's proposals about Cyprus and special newsreel coverage for Italy and Japan on the signature of the Anglo-Italian and Anglo-Japanese atomic energy agreements.