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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) .- The explanation by the Minister is nol satisfactory. What are the contracts which may be affected ?

Mr Fenton - Contracts' between the Government and Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited.

Mr FORDE - In connexion with an earlier amendment relating to sponsored programmes the Minister refused, to tell the committee the reason for his change of attitude. I do not forget the strong propaganda against this bill conducted by certain newspapers. For instance, the MelbourneHerald of the 11th March severely castigated the Minister in relation to the bill. It said -

Rub it Out and Start Again.

Mr. Fenton'sbill to make broadcasting a branch of the Postal Department is a brazen falsification of government pledges that have hardly ceased to echo. In the first place, this great public utility, with its power for good or evil, is to be entrusted again -to a department whose incapacitymade legislation necessary.

That criticism is nonsensical, and it emanated from a newspaper that controls the station 3DB, and has a controlling interest in other B class stations in Adelaide, Wangaratta, and Gippsland. Having regard to the pressure brought to bear on the Minister in connexion with other amendments, I want a full explanation of the reason for the proposed new clause. Does it refer to the rights of B class stations, and will it commit future governments?

Mr Fenton - No.

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