HC Deb 20 July 1965 vol 716 cc199-200W
Mr. Mapp

asked the Postmaster-General whether the Government have yet completed their review of the proposed pay television experiment; and whether he will now make a statement.

Mr. Benn

The Government, in the course of their review of broadcasting policy, have now considered the experiment in pay television authorised by the previous Administration and due to start later this year. Of the three companies licensed by my predecessor two have now withdrawn, but the third company, Pay-TV Ltd., has declared its intention of proceeding with its part of the experiment.

In the Government's view the case for an experiment is still valid. In reaching this view, the Government remain uncommitted on the possibilities of a general or permanent service or the basis on which such a service might be organised. This will be decided in the light of the results of the experiment, and also, of course, of wider economic and social considerations.

I am arranging for copies of the conditions applying to the showing on pay television of cinema films to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. These conditions are designed to provide adequate

special issues of postage stamps, including the Churchill memorial issue.

Mr. Benn

I regret that the information required by the hon. Member is not available.

Mr. Pounder

asked the Postmaster-General how many first day covers of the Churchill memorial issue of postage stamps were issued by the General Post Office Philatelic Service; and how this figure compares with other first day covers issued by the service.

Mr. Joseph Slater

The figures are as follows:

safeguards for the legitimate interests of cinema exhibitors in the experimental pay television areas. I propose also to take the necessary steps, in consultation with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, to designate, as soon as possible, the cinemas to which these conditions will apply.