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Televising Of The House

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1990

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To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list those organisations and individuals who can receive the television pictures of the House of Commons chamber, those who have terminated their receivers since the beginning of the experiment and those who have applied for a signal but have been refused.

The list of organisations and individuals within the House and its outbuildings who receive a clean feed from the Chamber is as follows: Mr. Speaker; Mr. Speaker's Secretary; the Chairman of Ways and Means; the Votes and Proceedings Office the Supervisor of Broadcasting; and the Press Gallery, within which some broadcasting organisations have made their own separate arrangements. There are of course also monitors in each of the Division Lobbies.In addition, I understand that some Government Departments have arranged through the Central Office of Information to take the clean feed, though this facility does not apply to Ministers' rooms in the House.So far as organisations outside the House are concerned, all the main broadcasters within the United Kingdom,—the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky TV and BSB—are entitled under the terms of the first report of Sessiton 1988–89 of the Select Committee on Televising of Proceedings of the House to receive the clean feed. Westminster Cable TV has also been approved for this purpose. As regards foreign-based broadcasters, BBC and ITN make available on the daily Eurovision news exchange extracts from the clean feed of up to two minutes, while House of Commons Broadcasting Unit Ltd. has licensed WTN and Visnews to supply overseas customers with material from the House of Commons of not more than five minutes duration. In addition, House of Commons Broadcasting Unit Ltd. has licensed a large number of foreign broadcasters to take longer coverage, including:

CountryBroadcasting organisation
AustraliaABC
Channel 9
CanadaCBC
GermanyARD
ZDF
Hong KongTVB News
Asia TV
IrelandRTE
JapanNHK
United StatesABC
CBS
CNN
C-Span
NBC
House of Commons Broadcasting Unit Ltd. has also licensed the Press Association to provide newspapers with still photographs of the Chamber. These are made, using a freeze-frame technique, from a clean feed supplied for the purpose.

There are a further 26 organisations, mainly in broadcasting or the press, who are already authorised to take a clean sound feed and who, on the basis of a policy decision taken by the Select Committee, are also entitled, without the need to seek separate permission, to take a clean television feed if they wish. I understand that very few of these organisations have in fact exercised their right to receive the television feed, although precise information about their identity is not readily available since as indicated, they do not need the approval of the Select Committee to do so. The full list of 26 is as follows:

  • British Forces Broadcasting Service
  • Manx Radio
  • South African Broadcasting Corporation
  • National Public Radio (USA)
  • Radio stations affiliated to the National Association of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations
  • Scandinavian Broadcasting (Danish (DR), Finnish (YLE), Norwegian and Swedish radio and television)
  • Voice of America
  • Falkland Islands Broadcasting
  • Associated Press Ltd.
  • IBS News Ltd.
  • Radio Television Hong Kong
  • Radio Basildon
  • London Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (who are authorised to supply the feed to national newspapers)
  • Israel Broadcasting Authority
  • Norddeutscher Fundfunk Hamburg
  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koln
  • Deutsche Welle, Koln
  • Wall Street Journal London Bureau
  • Reuters Ltd.
  • Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB)
  • Sound Productions (Overseas Promotions) Ltd.
  • TV Asahi
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Telerate Europe/Gulf
  • Bank of England
  • New York Times London Bureau

I know of no case in which a person or organisation entitled to receive the clean feed has decided to stop doing so. Apart from the hon. Member, the only direct representation for the granting of a clean feed which the Select Committee has received and rejected was from the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace), acting on behalf of his party.

Education and Library Boards

Board

1982–83 £

1983–84 £

1984–85 £

1985–86 £

1986–87 £

1987–88 £

1988–89 £

Belfast97,036410,6861,245,945687,847510,699768,319467,225
North-Eastern52,822116,478148,542176,672271,347239,386337,388
South-Eastern40,725225,092336,254287,153455,409287,783275,042
Southern68,420235,973187,556222,678295,427345,319274,195
Western59,522158,677209,170237,127180,622345,913203,172

Area health boards

Board

1982–83 £

1983–84 £

1984–85 £

1985–86 £

1986–87 £

1987–88 £

1988–89 £

Northern45,10243,66346,56834,68245,711105,20678,778
Southern29,302116,81721,44548,294137,26087,317200,487
Eastern224,852177,355114,550123,710117,135101,753397,693
Western17,36432,82844,3519,894120,773235,667108,819