Since Bevins’ statement in Parliament on 27 June 1963 (Chapter 24) a second competitive television service by at latest 1967 had seemed, if not a foregone conclusion, at least a genuine possibility. But in January 1966 Hill was telling colleagues that his recent conversations with the Labour pmg, Wedgwood Benn, had led him to conclude that an early policy statement on the future shape of broadcasting in Britain was very unlikely. Post Office civil servants were much more preoccupied with proposals arising from Prime Minister Wilson’s scheme for a University of the Air (Chapter 31) . In these circumstances the Authority saw no alternative but to offer existing companies a one-year extension of their contracts, i.e. until the end of July 1968. This extension was made subject to a reconsideration of the rentals.2
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