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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 6th February 2020.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Father of the House of Commons 10:31 am, 6th February 2020

I say to the Government, through my hon. Friend, that the question underlying all this is the one identified by the Canadian broadcasting pioneer Graham Spry in 1932:

“It is a choice between the State and the United States.”

If any change to the BBC leads to its disappearance or vulnerability, there will be a great responsibility on anyone who is involved in that process. May I suggest to my hon. Friend that in this consultation we should compare not the disadvantages of the present system with the advantages of the alternative, but the disadvantages of the alternative with the advantages of the present system?