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Friday, 23 October 1931

Mr ELDRIDGE (MARTIN, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   The Choral Association of Australia, Melbourne, having complained in connexion with broadcasting control, that " grave dissatisfaction existed in the first arrangement whereby £1 of each listener's licence-fee went to a combination of theatrical entrepreneurs, for the necessity for profit-making, obscuring the claims of amateur musical societies and professional or semi-professional solo artists ", did the previous Government respond to the representations of the association when the original combination of amusement purveyors was replaced by the Fuller interests?

2.   Did that Government then publish the following undertaking : - " The successful tenderer must consider any representations by local committees appointed by the Postmaster-General, for securing co-operation towards the development and maintenance of broadcasting services of the highest obtainable order.

All reasonable arrangements are to be made for rendering items either by orchestras, bands, choral societies, and other organizations from which the programmes are distributed, and a reasonable policy is to be pursued in inducing the establishment and maintenance of organizations devoting their talent to rendering high-class compositions. Local talent is to be encouraged by utilizing the services of persons recommended by local committees who may possess attributes rendering them suitable for providing broadcast items"?

3.   Have musical societies of high standing since repeatedly urged the Postmaster-General's Department to carry the above undertaking into effect, but without success?

4.   Have such societies been forced to the conclusion that departmental officials concerned have been totally "unsympathetic to such appeals ?

5.   What is the Minister's reply to the complaint of the Choral Association of Australia that in its opinion " inadequate recognition has been paid to non-profit musical organizations. The same artists have been engaged year after year, and we consider little encouragement has been given to honorary committees arranging public concerts by nonprofit organizations "?

6.   What steps does the Minister propose to take to remedy these complaints in the interests of the general public?

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