§ Lord Thomson of Monifieth
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will publish their proposals for the draft BBC Charter, Agreement and Licence at the same time as the Broadcasting Bill announced in the Queen's Speech is given a First Reading.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood):
Copies of the draft BBC Charter and Agreement were placed in the Library on 27 November. The licence to be issued to the BBC under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, which was issued in conjunction with the current agreement in 1981 by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, is now the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The new agreement, when executed, will not come into force until the relevant wireless telegraphy licences are granted to the corporation. We expect publication of the Broadcasting Bill, announced in the gracious Speech, before Christmas.