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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member is., doubtless, aware that he must not quote from a speech of an honorable member in the current session.

Mr FORDE - By securing the right to broadcast the result of a test cricket match between an Australian eleven and an English eleven, a B class station could deprive the national broadcasting stations of the right to do so. There are 46 B class stations in Australia. The honorable member for Corangamite has asked why should these first applicants have been given licences while more deserving subsequent applicants have been shut out. Although these licences are given for a specific term on the definite understanding that the Government may refuse to renew them, these B class stations have become established, and some of them are supplying a useful service. Nevertheless, I hold that broadcasting should be con trolled in a national way. National stations can broadcast the results of test cricket matches better than B class stations, because they cover a much wider area; and if it came to a matter of competing for sponsored programmes, would score every time. One would imagine that honorable members opposite have no interest in national broadcasting stations. As a matter of fact, the taxpayers of the country are shareholders in these national stations, and if more revenue can be earned by the stations, the result should be not only better programmes, but also greater opportunities for our artists and musicians. Our talented boys and girls will be given new avenues of employment., The majority of the B class stations broadcast canned music and phonograph records instead of encouraging Australian artists. I regret that the ' Government should have sent the PostmasterGeneral into this chamber with a bill containing this provision, and then suddenly backed down, because certain newspaper organizations sent along circulars, and created in . Ministers the fear that if they did not quickly yield to pressure, they might lose press publicity.

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