22 and 23.
asked the Postmaster-General (1) what is the population of the areas of County Antrim which are beyond the range of the British Broadcasting Corporation and Independent Television Authority transmissions;(2) what steps have been taken in the last two years to eliminate the small areas which cannot receive British Broadcasting Corporation television programmes.
I understand that about 9,500 people are beyond range of B.B.C. television, and about 11,000 beyond range of I.T.A. television in County Antrim. Since 1959 the B.B.C. has planned and put in hand twenty-seven satellite television stations to improve and extend its coverage, including one in Northern Ireland. A further stage of its satellite programme will be announced shortly.
I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this area should be high on the list of priorities, if for no other reason than that it was probably the first place in the United Kingdom from which wireless transmissions of any sort were made? It seems wrong that it should now be left out.
I appreciate my hon. Friend's concern, but, as he knows, the B.B.C.'s third stage satellite is still under consideration.
Would it not be worth while to preserve at all costs the one or two last refuges in the United Kingdom where it is not possible to receive a television programme?