§ 113. Mr. G. Roberts
asked the Postmaster-General what representations he has received concerning the need to provide a more integrated television service for Wales.147W
§ 1960. Mr. Bevins
My predecessor and I and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Welsh Affairs have received written representations from a number of Welsh organisations and local authorities who wish to secure a separate Welsh television service.
The problem was discussed last year with the Welsh Parliamentary Party and also with representatives of the University of Wales. Last week my right hon. Friends the Minister for Welsh Affairs and the Minister of State for Welsh Affairs and I met members of the Continuation Committee of the National Conference on Television for Wales and I am circulating below the agreed statement issued after that meeting.
Statement issued on 27th January,
TELEVISION SERVICE FOR WALES DISCUSSED
Mr. Henry Brooke, Minister for Welsh Affairs, Mr. J. R. Bevins, Postmaster General and Lord Brecon, Minister of State for Welsh Affairs, had a two-hour discussion this morning; with members of the Continuation Corninfittee of the National Conference on Television for Wales which met in Cardiff last autumn. The members of the Committee present were Colonel Cennydd Traherne (Chairman of the Conference), the Lord Mayor of Cardiff (Alderman Mrs. Helena Evans), Dr. Jac L. Williams. Dr. B. Haydn Williams and Mr. T. I. Ellis (Secretary of the Conference).
The Committee had sent to the Ministers a detailed memorandum on the practical possibilities of providing a television service, partly in Welsh and partly in English, designed particularly for Wales. The Ministers assured the Committee that they all fully appreciated the desire in Wales for a television service intended primarily for Welsh viewers. The Committee indicated that its aspiration was to see television provided in the Welsh language for Welsh-speaking viewers at peak viewing hours, while ensuring for English-speaking viewers the opportunity to watch English-language programmes with a Welsh outlook. The various problems entailed in securing this were discussed, and the technical difficulties seen by the Post Office in the plans suggested in the Committee's memorandum were explained orally.
The Committee said that they would like to examine these technical arguments further, and for this purpose the Ministers promised to furnish a technical memorandum which the Committee could consider with its advisers. The Postmaster General repeated the assurance which his predecessor had given last year to a deputation from the University of Wales, that he would be glad to arrange a meeting between Welsh scientists and his experts to go more deeply into what was involved on the technical side. Finally the Ministers invited the Committee to let them know if they would like a further meeting.