§ 40. Sir Ralph Glyn
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?
§ Mr. Bracken
The B.B.C. is responsible for the selection of subject matter and the form of issue of their news bulletins 711 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.
§ Sir R. Glyn
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.
§ Sir Irving Albery
Will my right hon. Friend make it clear whether it is the B.B.C. or his Department who are responsible for the news?
§ Mr. Bracken
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.