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St Helena (Satellite Television)

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received any representations about satellite television reception in St. Helena; and if he will make a statement.

We have not received any representations about satellite television reception in St. Helena. No television broadcasts are at present received on the island, and there are no facilities on the island for receiving satellite television signals.

Precisely. Will my hon. Friend have a word with the Home Secretary about devising a post-colonial system for the representation in this House of our remaining dependent territories, along the lines of the 1955 Malta settlement? Members of the dependencies—

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it is because of the representations that my right hon. and learned Friend has received and the fact that to receive representations in the first place, we need to have Members from there in this House.

My hon. Friend asks an ingenious question. Without satellite television reception the citizens of St. Helena would be deprived of viewing our proceedings on television—if broadcasting should continue. However, my hon. Friend will be aware that the citizens of St. Helena, like the citizens of all our dependent territories, can vote for members of their own legislative council. He will also be aware that those councils have responsibility for the full internal self-government of the territories. If we went further than that, it would be a complex issue which would require careful consideration.