HL Deb 12 December 1985 vol 469 cc453-4WA
Baroness Burton of Coventry

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in elaboration of their reply to Baroness Burton of Coventry's Starred Question of 28th November (cols. 969/970) they will inform the House of the action taken on the five suggestions put forward by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, in their report entitled The British Broadcasting Corporation and Independent Television Publications Limited published in September 1985, and the progress made on discussions with the broadcasting organisations arising from the Government press notice dated 11th September 1985.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Glenarthur)

We wrote to the BBC and IBA on 17th October drawing their attention to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's view that the present arrangements for providing information about forthcoming programmes on BBC and IBA services were not necessarily the best that could be devised, and sought their views on the five points mentioned in the commission's report. The BBC and Independent Television Publications Limited (ITP) subsequently replied that these matters were to be considered by the board of the BBC and by the directors of ITP (respectively) and that they would write to us again after these deliberations. We shall write to the noble Baroness when we have more information. It should be noted in connection with one of the five items mentioned by the commission—the desirability of the annual profits from sales of the Radio Times and TV Times being published—that in respect of the former this practice has now been adopted by the BBC in its accounts for 1984–85 published on 28th November.