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Wednesday, 3 June 1942


Sir FREDERICK STEWART (Parra) (matta) (12:40 PM) . - Sub-clause 2 of this clause states: -

A licensee desiring to broadcast advertisements shall publish a tariff of advertising charges, and shall make his advertising service available without discrimination to any person.

A literal interpretation of that subclause would create an interesting situation with some commercial broadcasting stations, as they are owned to-day. Honorable members know that certain stations, adhering to conscientious and ethical standards, are not prepared to broadcast advertisements of liquor, whereas a literal interpretation of that clause would compel them to do so. Under the same literal interpretation of the clause, it would be possible for the Loyal Orange Lodge of New South Wales to insist on station 2SM, the Roman Catholic station, broadcasting advertisements of celebrations of the Battle of the Boyne. Other incidents of that kind could occur.


Mr Holt - The Labour party's stations could be compelled to broadcast advertisements on behalf of the United Australia party.


Sir FREDERICK STEWART - Yes ; I understand that the intention of this clause is to ensure that there shall be no discrimination in respect of political propaganda. I know that it is the opinion of the Crown Law officers, that the clause, as it stands, protects stations which for one reason or another have refused to accept advertisements.


Mr Blackburn - Where does it give that protection?


Sir FREDERICK STEWART - I understand that, so long as the discrimination is consistent against any category of goods that protection exists, but I find it difficult to accept that myself. In any case, it is highly desirable that the matter should be clarified. I know that it is not the intention of the Government to insist that stations be compelled to accept advertisements which up till now they have at a very considerable loss of revenue been refusing. I should like to know from the Acting Attorney-General (Mr. Beasley) the views of the AttorneyGeneral's Department. Can the honorable gentleman do anything to reassure the stations to which I have referred?







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