Broadcasters' Fees.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that large sums of public money are being paid by the British Broadcasting Corporation to radio stars or their agents, out of proportion to their real value; and whether he will publish a statement giving examples of the higher fees paid?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I am sure that this is a matter which should be left to the Governors of the B.B.C.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Could not the House have some information on this matter? If I put down another Question, would the right hon. Gentleman be able to find out whether £75 was normal pay for a seven-minutes' talk by an alleged star of, say, "Hi, Gang"?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

If my hon. Friend will send me the evidence to which he refers, I will, of course, call the attention of the Chairman of the B.B.C. to it, but I really think it would be a mistake for me to get up in the House and answer questions on every detail of the management of the B.B.C.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

My Question did not ask for that. I asked whether, if I put down another Question, the Minister will give an answer to a specific point. I cannot recall such a Question as this ever being answered in this House before.

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

Is the Minister aware that it is said that the members of the Brains Trust get £20 for attempting to answer very simple questions, and that they are said to record two sessions at the same time and thus draw a fee of ¢40; and does he think that what they give to the public is worth it?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

It shows that they have brains.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Is the Minister sure that they have any brains?

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Is it not the fact that the Brains Trust give more innocent amusement to the people than any other broadcast?