asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to develop the external services of the British Broadcasting Corporation; and if he will make a statement.
We are fully conscious of the need to support the external services. The external services' funding for the current financial year, at approximately £91 million—with relay stations, over £100 million—is about 7 per cent. higher in real terms than last year. Significant progress has been made in implementing our capital expenditure programme of some £100 million agreed in 1981 to improve the BBC's audibility overseas, which remains a high priority.