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Television Licences

Volume 892: debated on Monday 12 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will exempt those pensioners who had been paying for their new licence in advance by means of prepayment stamps from his instruction to the Post Office to demand an additional television licence fee from persons who took out a new television licence before their old licence had expired prior to 1st April 1975.

No. The use of the television savings stamp card does not involve advance payment; it simply facilitates saving against the time when the renewal fee is due.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received asking him to reconsider the use of the powers under Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 to revoke the television licence of those who, during April 1975, have held two licences concurrently but who are not in breach of the said Act; and if he will make a statement.

We have received 127 letters making various points on the subject of overlapping licences. I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave on 17th April to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others.—[Vol. 890, c. 136–7.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he applies when he invokes Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

The powers conveyed in Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 are among the powers provided for the general regulation of wireless telegraphy. Apart from the circumstances mentioned in reply to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others on 17th April, the powers under Section 1(4) are principally used when a licence has been issued in exchange for a cheque subsequently dishonoured by the licensee's banker; when a licence has by mistake been issued for the wrong expiry date; or when the licensee refuses, after warning, to comply with the terms and provisions of the licence or of the instructions issued to him on the conditions governing the licensing and operation of the radio service concerned.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had from members of the public who have had a letter from the National TV Licence Records Office demanding an additional fee of £6 in respect of licences taken out before April 1975; and what reply he has sent.

A number have paid the amount. As my right hon. Friend said in his answer of 17th April to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others—[Vol. 890, c. 136–7.]—those who have not are liable to the revocation of any overlapping licence and they will be reminded of this.