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Sound Broadcasting

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1957.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North 12:00 am, 31st July 1957

asked the Postmaster-General what discussions he has had with the governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation regarding proposals put forward by a deputation from the Sound Broadcasting Society and communicated to him.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

Is the assistant Postmaster-General aware that the deputation included Mr. T. S. Eliot, Dr. Vaughan Williams, and Sir Laurence Olivier and reflected the very serious anxiety felt among serious listeners to sound broadcasting? Did not the suggestions made by the deputation merit more than the somewhat offhand reply sent by the Chairman of the B.B.C. Governors? Could not the Postmaster-General at least give an assurance that the B.B.C. will not be forced on grounds of economy to depart from the very high standard of sound broadcasting that has been set in the past?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

We discussed this matter on an Adjournment Motion not very long ago, when I think the burden of what I had to say then to the hon. Gentleman was very much in satisfaction of the question he has now asked.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

Could not the Postmaster-General have answered this Question, dealing with a matter of very high policy for his Department? Will he assure the House that he is aware of the public disquiet on this matter raised by my hon. Friend the Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson)?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

My right hon. Friend did me the honour of asking me to reply for him. I think it is within his province to decide that sort of thing, and that it is not for outside interests at all. The fact is that these matters are very properly left to the B.B.C. to decide, and that, unless there is any major departure from general policy by the B.B.C., we must leave it where it is.