B.B.C. News Services.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 28th January 1942.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

asked the Minister of Information which directorate of his Department is responsible for the subject matter, the form of its issue and repetition of certain items of the news broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the Home and Forces Programmes; whether he is aware that the policy of hiding up unsatisfactory news leads to listening to enemy broadcasts; and what steps it is proposed to take to improve the news service by stating facts which are frequently released for publication in the Press?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

The B.B.C. is responsible for the selection of subject matter and the form of issue of their news bulletins in the Home and Forces Programmes, but under the general supervision of the Ministry of Information. Some repetition of news in successive bulletins is unavoidable owing to the fact that the great majority of listeners only listen to one bulletin a day, choosing the one that fits most conveniently with their hours of work. I can assure my hon. Friend that there is no policy of hiding up unsatisfactory news; and I have, in fact, received complaints that the bulletins are too pessimistic. My own view is that they succeed in giving an adequate summary of all reliable news of the day.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

The Minister will recognise that if the public think they are not getting the full news they will listen to foreign broadcasts, which is not so good as listening to British broadcasts.

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I entirely agree when you attempt to hide news, but no such attempt is being made.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Will my right hon. Friend make it clear whether it is the B.B.C. or his Department who are responsible for the news?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

The B.B.C. are responsible for the compilation of these broadcasts. The Ministry has quite enough to do without taking on the functions of the B.B.C.