Graphical version

British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive

Post Office: Broadcasting


Reference code(s): GB 0813 POST 89 Series

Held at: British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive

Title: Post Office: Broadcasting

Date(s): 1922-1992

Level of description: Series

Extent: 63 files

Name of creator(s): Post Office


Administrative/Biographical history:

The role of the Post Office in broadcasting began as an extension of the monopoly on telecommunications into the area of wireless telephony. Initially, the transmission of sound by radio was viewed as a new means for sending messages, rather than a potential tool for broadcasting.

The Post Office was responsible for issuing wireless licenses from the 1920s and also for the cabling relating to wireless. It derived these powers from the Wireless Telegraph Act of 1904; in this act it was provided that in order to operate an apparatus either for transmitting and receiving wireless signals, it was necessary to have a licence and also that this licence may be in a form and with conditions determined by the Postmaster General. The Broadcasting Department also afforded facilities to the Post Office for announcing policy developments, such as the introduction of reduced telephone charges.

It was also responsible in the 1950s for issuing television licenses and introduced detecting vans who 'combed' the country for illicit television receivers, i.e. those individuals who had not obtained a television licence.

Upon the creation of the new Post Office Corporation in 1969, the Broadcasting Department of the former GPO was assimilated (with its active files) into the new Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.


Scope and content/abstract:

Includes papers of the Sykes, Crawford, Selsdon, Ullswater and Beveridge broadcasting committees. Also includes reports of the Television Advisory Committees and correspondence and papers relating to the technical aspects of broadcasting. Also contains reports relating to licensing and licence evasion.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Please see Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Public Record

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Please contact the Archive for further information.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Please contact the Archive for further information.


DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: EAD transfer validated May 2011

Licence fees | Broadcasting legislation | Communication legislation | Communication policy
Communications legislation

Personal names

Corporate names
Post Office
Post Office | GPO