§ 5. Mr. Hugh Jenkins
asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications 929 whether he will now answer Questions relating to programme content.
§ Sir J. Eden
As the House knows, the broadcasting authorities are responsible for programmes and their content.
§ Mr. Jenkins
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, under the curious rules we frame for ourselves, it is necessary to ask the Question in this form even if most of us do not want him to interfere in particular programmes? Is he further aware that many of us feel he has a duty to see that the authorities maintain their task in keeping a proper balance and that there are those of us who feel that the balance has not been kept by the broadcasting authorities? Will he keep a firm eye on the authorities to see that they carry out the duties which he quite rightly says are theirs?
§ Sir J. Eden
If there were a general consensus in the House that the governing authorities of the broadcasting bodies were not carrying out the responsibility placed on them, that would be a grave matter which would involve the Minister of the day.
§ Mr. Gorst
Even though my right hon. Friend will not consider answering Questions about programme content, will he nevertheless—when it comes to a consideration of the virtual collapse of London Broadcasting and any reorganisation which he might deem desirable or necessary—bear in mind that there would be great disapproval in this House if he were to make any arrangements permitting a London newspaper which so far is not represented on the board of that company to take over control or even greatly to influence its programmes?