§ Mr. Ness Edwards
asked the Postmaster-General, what steps are being taken to provide for the future of television on the expiration of the present commercial contracts; and, in particular, whether decisions on the introduction of 625 lines are to remain unchanged.
§ Mr. Benn
The duty of letting contracts is vested by the Television Act, 1964, in the Independent Television Authority. They have informed me that they intend to extend the term of their present contracts for one year: that is, from July, 1967, to July, 1968. The question whether and if so when a second service of independent television, broadcast on 625-lines, should be introduced, involves the further question of the allocation of the fourth network. On this, I cannot, of course, anticipate the Government's decision.