§ APPLICATION OF SECTION 3(5) OF PRINCIPAL ACT
§ Section 3(5) of the principal Act shall not have effect in respect of local sound broadcasting.—[Mr. Golding.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. Golding
I beg to move, That the Clause be now read a Second time.
The Section in question reads:Except with the previous approval of the Authority, there shall not be included in any programme broadcast by the Authority—This is an important amendment for radio, because radio is more immediate. I wish that, for this discussion, the authority on religions in the House, the hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. Proudfoot), had been present, for two reasons. First, because many of us will remember how shocked we were to learn that the hon. Gentleman was to permit the Sermon on the Mount to be broadcast on his station at the going rate, but secondly because he has constantly drawn the Minister's attention to the different situation which exists in radio, particularly local radio, as opposed to that which obtains in television.
- (a) any religious service or any propaganda relating to matters of a religious nature;
- (b) any item, whether an advertisement or not, which gives or is designed to give publicity to the needs or objects of any association or organisation conducted for charitable or benevolent purposes."
I do not see how a local community station can work effectively if it has to get prior approval of the Authority to include in a programmepropaganda relating to matters of a religious nature.Anybody who knows how local radio works will think that that is a nonsense. What will happen when people telephone the radio station to say they have a bazaar coming on, or that such and such a person is to speak, or that a certain event is about to take place in the area? News is gathered in the community by the minute. Is it seriously being said that if a local radio station desired to interview a religious personage in the locality, it first would have to obtain prior permission from the Authority for such a recording to be played on the air?
1201 Furthermore, the provisions of subsection (5)(b) of the Act appear to be restrictive on local radio. They provide that the prior approval of the Authority is required in respect of…any item…which gives or is designed to give publicity to the needs or objects of any association or organisation conducted for charitable or benevolent purposes…".This would appear to have some application to television but is a nonsense as applied to local radio.
Is the Department saying that before any local charitable organisation makes a statement on radio it has to be authorised by the Authority, or that if somebody is holding a jumble sale for the relief of poverty or in aid of some great disaster somebody in the radio station must telephone for prior approval?
§ Mr. Chataway
I take the hon. Gentleman's point on this Clause, but perhaps he overlooks the fact that the Authority will be able to give blanket approval to certain kinds of announcements. I accept what he says about announcements of local fetes, and so on. It will be within the Authority's discretion to say to stations, "This or that type of announcement has our approval, but when you move into x, y or z announcements we shall require to know about them." That is what is envisaged.
§ Mr. Golding
If that is envisaged and if the Authority officially issues these certificates of clearance which cover a wide area, I should be happy and I do not want to labour the point. I want only to draw attention to the fact that there is this great distinction between television and radio. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.