§ Mr. Adley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will set up an inquiry involving both the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority into the effects of violence on television with a view to establishing policy guidelines which would establish effective control over the showing of violent scenes on television; and if he will make a statement;
(2) to what extent he regards it as his function, and to what extent that of the broadcasting authorities, to monitor the social effects of television, on the level of crime, violence or other social evils; and if it is his practice to discuss these matters with the broadcasting authorities;
(3) if he has studied the recent research by Dr. William Belson on the subject of violence on television; and if he will make a statement on any conclusions he has drawn from this research;
(4) if he will make a study of the effect on children under 15 years of age of violence on television.
§ Mr. Mayhew
As trustees of the public interest in broadcasting the BBC and the IBA are responsible for maintaining the standards of the programmes they broadcast. Research into the effects of their programmes also properly falls to them to undertake. We do not intervene with the broadcasting authorities in the discharge of this responsibility, but the importance which the Government attach to the question of programme standards is on public record and is well known to them. In carrying out their responsibility each authority has drawn up and keeps under review a code relating to the portrayal of violence on television, their present codes being contained in a joint publication issued in February 81W 1980. I am aware of the research study by Dr. William Belson, published in 1978, on television violence and the adolescent boy, and it would have been available to the broadcasting authorities when they last reviewed their codes.
§ Mr. Adley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report any countries which to his knowledge have reduced or restricted either the hours of, or days on which, television is shown, due to the adverse social effects engendered by excessive television viewing.