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Friday, 29 April 1932

Mr DEIN (Lang) .- I intend to support the clause as it stands. I was somewhat impressed by the statement of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin) that the position should be considered in the light of the fact that the chairman of the commission would not be a full-time officer, but whether he is a full or a part-time officer is immaterial. It will be the duty of the commission to see that the policy laid down is carried out, and, therefore, I contend that the commission should be charged with the responsibility of choosing the general manager. This Parliament is providing for the appointment of a commission, because it is considered that a commission will be a more suitable body than the Parliament to formulate the broadcasting policy. The honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. Riordan) mentioned that he would support the amendment, because it would result in a step nearer socialization than would be made by the clause as it stands. If a general manager is appointed by the Government, he will be likely to adopt the policy favoured by the Government. It is possible that the Governmerit, as well as the commission, will lay down a broadcasting policy. If the general manager owes his position to the Government, he will probably favour the policy of the Ministry, lest he may lose his job. Much will depend on the character of the government in power. If it happens to be one-tenth as bad as the Ministry now in office in New South Wales, I have doubts as to the suitability of the appointment that will bo made. Mr. Cleary was appointed to take charge of the railways in that State because he was considered to be the best man for the position, but he lost his job because he refused to carry out the policy of the State Government. If the general manager of the broadcasting commission were appointed by the Commonwealth Government, he might be a pliable servant in its hands, whereas if the commission made the appointment, the general manager would not be responsible to the Government.

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