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Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 7 May 1947

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News Bulletins


asked the Postmaster-General why the overseas news of the B.B.C. gives much more varied information on the same subjects than the Home Service does; and whether, as this creates a different impression upon the peoples who listen, he will have the two assimilated.

I am assured that the treatment of an item in the B.B.C.'s Home and Overseas news bulletins does not differ in any material respect; but the presentation in the overseas news must necessarily have regard to the widely differing audiences reached by that news.

Does not the Postmaster-General consider that it differs very considerably in point of interest in the announcement of the news?

Is the Postmaster-General aware that his reply is totally inaccurate? As I have most frequently broadcast on the Overseas News Programme—

"America Calling Europe"


asked the Postmaster-General what proportion of time on our European broadcasting services is leased to the U.S.A.; what are the conditions of, and reasons for, the lease; and what other countries allocate to the U.S.A. a proportion of time on the wavelengths internationally allotted to them.

A little over one-tenth of the total output of the B.B.C.'s European Services consists of "America Calling Europe" broadcasts. The arrangements for rebroadcasts of United States programmes by the B.B.C. were originally made during the war as part of reciprocal aid, and I understand they have since continued, on a reduced scale, on a cash basis, payment being made in dollars. Information to answer the last part of the Question is not available.

Owing to the fact that the limited number of wavelengths available is frequently given as an excuse or reason why developments in the B.B.C. are restricted, is it not a little prodigal to rent some of them out to a foreign Power?

White Horse Hill Project


asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a further statement concerning the proposed radio station in the neighbourhood of White Horse Hill on the Berkshire Downs.

Since my previous reply on this subject, I myself visited White Horse Hill. Having seen the proposed site for the television station and the general surroundings, I agree that we should locate the station elsewhere and I have given instructions accordingly.

While welcoming this decision very warmly, and realising that the original blunder was made before my right hon. Friend went to the Post Office, may I ask what steps are being taken to prevent this kind of thing happening again?

I have not had much of a chance to do anything besides this since I took office, but I propose to look into the general arrangments.

May I thank the Postmaster-General for his prompt action in going down there, and may I ask him whether it is possible, in future, for consultations to take place with the Ordnance Survey to see that triangulation can be done in a more simple way than this?

Will the right hon. Gentleman also inform the Minister of Town and Country Planning of this decision, and tell him that there is no harm done in changing an opinion in deference to public opinion?