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Lord Inglewood: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 48 and 49 en bloc. I spoke to these amendments with Amendment No. 4.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 48 and 49.--(Lord Inglewood.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

50

Before Clause 28, insert the following new clause--

Digital broadcasting of Gaelic programmes

'.--(1) The Secretary of State may by order provide for the Commission to include in any multiplex licence granted in respect of one frequency to which section 25 applies such conditions relating to the broadcasting of programmes in Gaelic for reception wholly or mainly in Scotland as may be specified in, or determined by them under, the order.

18 Jul 1996 : Column 1021


(2) The Secretary of State may by order require the holder of a multiplex licence ("the holder"), in complying with any such conditions, to broadcast programmes in Gaelic supplied by each of the persons mentioned in subsection (4) ("the suppliers") amounting to such minimum number of hours (if any) of transmission time per year as may be specified in the order in relation to that supplier.
(3) For the purpose of enabling the holder to comply with any such conditions and any obligation imposed by virtue of subsection (2), it shall be the duty of each supplier to provide the holder, free of charge, with such programmes in Gaelic which have been broadcast by the supplier as the holder may request.
(4) The suppliers are--
(a) the BBC,
(b) the Channel Four Television Corporation,
(c) any holder of a Channel 3 licence to provide a regional Channel 3 service (within the meaning of Part I of the 1990 Act) for reception wholly in Scotland, and
(d) such other persons providing television broadcasting services as may be specified by order by the Secretary of State.
(5) Subsection (3) shall not apply in relation to any programme first broadcast by the supplier concerned--
(a) before 1 January 1993, or
(b) in the period beginning on 1 January 1993 and ending on 31 March 1997, if the supplier has no right to broadcast it again or has such a right but is not entitled to transfer it to the holder.
(6) The holder may broadcast any programme supplied by virtue of subsection (3) on one occasion only.
(7) The holder shall consult Comataidh Craolaidh Gaidhlig and the suppliers about--
(a) the quantity of programmes likely to be requested by the holder from each supplier by virtue of subsection (3), and
(b) the schedules proposed for the broadcast by the holder of programmes supplied by virtue of that subsection,
and shall have regard to any comments made as a result of such consultation.
(8) Any order under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(9) In this section "Gaelic" means the Gaelic language as spoken in Scotland.'.

Lord Inglewood: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 50. The amendment will increase the amount of Gaelic television programmes broadcast in peak time in Scotland. It places an obligation on the ITC to ensure that the operator of the third digital multiplex service carrying S4C and Channel 5 includes in Scotland a minimum of half-an-hour in peak time of Gaelic programmes every day as part of the overall service. The amendment also places an obligation on the existing broadcasters of Gaelic programmes to make available, free of charge, Gaelic programmes which they have previously broadcast for retransmission as part of the digital multiplex service.

The new measures will significantly increase the amount of Gaelic programming available in peak time in Scotland and I am sure that they will be warmly welcomed by the Gaelic speaking community.

18 Jul 1996 : Column 1022

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 50.--(Lord Inglewood.)

Lord Thomson of Monifieth: My Lords, the Minister will be pleased to know that I received a letter from the Gaelic Television Committee which asks me to convey our appreciation for the progress made. Overall it is a considerable step in the right direction. It would be untrue to say that we are totally satisfied; we will have demands in the future. But it is such a rare occasion to be able to read such a letter to the Minister that I felt I should do so.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

51

Before Clause 28, insert the following new clause--

Review of digital television broadcasting

'.--(1) For the purpose of considering for how long it would be appropriate for television broadcasting services to continue to be provided in analogue form, the Secretary of State--
(a) shall keep under review the extent of--
(i) the provision in the United Kingdom of multiplex services,
(ii) the availability in the United Kingdom in digital form of the services specified in section 2(3), S4C Digital, the qualifying teletext service, and the television broadcasting services of the BBC, and
(iii) the ownership or possession in the United Kingdom of equipment capable of receiving the services referred to in sub-paragraph (ii) when broadcast or transmitted in digital form,
and the likely future extent of such provision, such availability and such ownership or possession, and
(b) shall, on or before the fourth anniversary of the day on which the first multiplex licence is granted under section 8, and at such time or times thereafter as he thinks fit, require the Commission and the BBC to report to him on the matters referred to in paragraph (a).
(2) If the Commission or the BBC are required to submit a report under subsection (1)(b), they shall submit the report within twelve months of the date of the requirement.
(3) Before making any report under subsection (1)(b), the Commission shall consult--
(a) the holders of all multiplex licences,
(b) the holders of digital programme licences who are providing digital programme services which are being broadcast,
(c) such other persons providing services licensed by the Commission under this Part or Part I or II of the 1990 Act as the Commission think fit, and
(d) the Welsh Authority;
and the Commission shall include in their report a summary of representations made to them by the persons consulted.
(4) For the purpose mentioned in subsection (1), the Secretary of State shall, on requiring reports under subsection (1)(b), consult--
(a) such persons appearing to him to represent viewers as he thinks fit, and
(b) such other persons as he thinks fit,
in connection with the matters referred to in subsection (1)(a) and also, if the Secretary of State thinks fit, as to the likely effects on viewers of any television broadcasting service ceasing to be broadcast in analogue form.

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(5) In this section "television broadcasting service" has the same meaning as in Part I of the 1990 Act.'.
52

Clause 33, page 27, line 39, at end insert--


''ancillary service' has the meaning given by section 21(2);'.
53

Page 27, leave out lines 40 and 41 and insert--


''a Channel 3 licence' has the same meaning as in Part I of the 1990 Act and 'a Channel 3 service' means a regional or national Channel 3 service (within the meaning of that Part);'.
54

Page 28, line 9, at end insert--


''public teletext provider' has the meaning given by section 2(4B);'.
55

Page 28, line 10, at end insert--


''qualifying teletext service' means the public teletext service provided by the public teletext provider for broadcasting in digital form as a qualifying service;'.
56

Page 28, line 14, at end insert--


''technical service' has the meaning given by section 21(3)'.
57

Clause 34, page 28, line 45, after 'sound' insert '(together with any ancillary services, as defined by section 57(2))'.


58

Page 29, line 1, after 'include' insert--


'(a)''.
59

Page 29, line 2, at end insert 'or


(b) a service where the sounds are to be received through the use of coded reference to pre-defined phonetic elements of sounds'.
60

Page 29, line 2, at end insert--


'(5A) The Secretary of State may, if having regard to developments in broadcasting technology he considers it appropriate to do so, by order amend the definition of "digital sound programme service" in subsection (5).
(5B) No order under subsection (5A) shall be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.'.
61

Page 29, line 4, leave out 'by satellite' and insert--


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