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Parliament (Broadcasting Of Proceedings)

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

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asked the Lord President of the Council (1) what is the cost to public funds of the demonstration and exhibition to be held in the Palace of Westminster in connection with the televising of the proceedings of Parliament, and the Vote under which such expenditure is authorised;(2) what is the total cost involved in the demonstration and exhibition to be held in the Palace of Westminster in connection with the televising of the proceedings of Parliament and what proportion of the expenditure involved is being met from non-parliamentary sources.

The costs involved in this demonstration and exhibition would be borne by the broadcasting authorities. No additional cost to public funds would be involved.

asked the Lord President of the Council (1) what is the latest estimate available to him of the total annual cost of televising the proceedings of Parliament;(2) what is the latest estimate available to him of the total annual cost of sound broadcasting the proceedings of Parliament;(3) what is the latest estimate of the capital cost involved in the supply and installation of equipment required for the televising of parliamentary proceedings;(4) what discussions he has had with the BBC on the question of the televising of the proceedings of Parliament; what proposals have been put to him by the BBC in relation to the capital cost involved; what is the estimated annual expenditure involved; and what is the average daily amount of time for transmission.

I hope to inform the House in the course of next week's debate of the agreement reached with the broadcasting authorities about the arrangements—including finance—for any experiments on broadcasting parliamentary proceedings. The financing of any permanent broadcasting from Parliament, whether in sound or television, would be a matter for later consideration, if the House were to decide, after the experiment, to pursue the matter.