§ 3.18 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have approached the Ordnance Survey concerning charges 13 made by that Department to the map publishers, as stated in this House on 21st June by the Baroness Stedman (col. 142), and whether they can now state when a re-examination of the fees structure will be carried out.
§ Baroness STEDMAN
My Lords, prior to our debate on the 21st June discussions were already proceeding within the Government about Ordnance Survey costs and revenues, including the royalty charges to map publishers. These discussions have continued, and the Ordnance Survey are of course a party to them. I hope that it will be possible within the next few months to make a Statement about the future pricing policy.
§ Lord TEVIOT
My Lords, while thanking the noble Baroness very much for that reply, I should like to ask her, first, what consultations are now taking place; secondly, whether she thinks that a Statement by the price policy reviewing body will be made by 1st January 1977, when the next increase is likely to take place; and, thirdly, whether she has any news on the educational side of the map publishing industry?
§ Baroness STEDMAN
My Lords, discussions have already taken place with the map publishers. We are at the moment arranging interviews with Lord Shackleton and some of his colleagues to get the view of the geographers, and these discussions are continuing all the time. I cannot anticipate, my Lords, when the Statement will be made, but I should be very surprised if it was not made before 1st January. So far as the educational books are concerned, the noble Lord will know from the letter which I have sent him that the Ordnance Survey already intend that, where the map extract material does not exceed 20 per cent. of the total content of the publication, a lower rate of charge, the category A rate, which is about 25 per cent. less than the facsimile rate, should be made; and this is to be made retrospective to the 1st January of this year.