§ Mr. Alison
asked the Postmaster-General if, in the light of his proposal to 214W increase the rates of levy, he will state the estimated profits before tax on capital employed of Yorkshire Television, Granada. Associated Television, London Weekend, Thames, Anglia, Tyne-Tees, Westward, Grampian, Border, Harlech, Southern, and Scottish programme contractors, respectively, for the latest three years for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
The information is not available for Harlech Television, London Weekend Television, Thames Television, or Yorkshire Television, which began operations as independent television programme contractors only in the spring or summer of 1968. For the remaining contractors, I would refer to the estimate mentioned by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement, that profits before tax over the whole system in the past three years had averaged well over 40 per cent. on capital employed. The information the hon. Member seeks for individual contractors, is available for those that are public companies in their published accounts. This would not be a reliable guide to their current and future financial position because of changes in the independent television system in the summer of 1968 and substantial capital expenditure incurred or soon to be incurred to provide for colour television.