Political Broadcasts (Directions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Postmaster-General what notices he has issued to the Independent Television Authority under Section 9, subsection (2) of the Television Act, 1954, concerning matters of a political nature.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

The only direction under this Section was that about the "14-day rule" which, as the right hon. Gentleman is aware, has been suspended for an indefinite period.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

Is the right hon Gentleman aware that transmissions of political broadcasts have been indulged in by Granada, particularly in the Manchester area, during the recent by-election? Does not he think that in view of the use of the regional programmes for television transmissions during by-elections, the B.B.C. ought to be released from the restrictions now imposed upon it, and that the three political parties, together with the B.B.C., I.T.A. and the Postmaster-General, should look at this problem anew so that we may have the maximum use, on an agreed basis, of the regional programmes in relation to by-elections?

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

I shall have to consider that long supplementary at leisure. If I remember the recent broadcast, it was at Garston where each candidate said that he would win, and the Tory candidate was the only one who was correct in his prophecy.