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Friday, 29 April 1932

Dr EARLE PAGE (Cowper) .- I move -

That at the end of sub-clause 1, the following words be inserted: - "subject to the approval of the Governor-General ".

My purpose is to ensure that the appointment of the general manager - I am not so much concerned about other officers of the commission - shall be made with the approval of the Governor-General. I submit the amendment because, following the decision of the committee last night, it would appear that this anaemic commission will meet only occasionally, so that practically the whole control of national broadcasting will ultimately fall into the hands of the general manager, who will be a full-time official. I do not suggest that he should be appointed by the Government. An appointment so made might result in some person with ideas inimical to the general policy of the commission securing the position ; but if the commission has power to make the appointment, subject to the approval of the Governor-General, we may be reasonably sure that the person selected will be in sympathy with the general policy of the commission. Last night the committee decided that the control of national broadcasting should virtually be in the hands of the general manager. In these circumstances I consider it desirable that, as regards the appointment of general manager, the power of veto should be vested in the Government. The bill really contains no indication of policy at all. This must be determined by the general manager. "With - the alteration of a few words the measure might just as well be regarded as one for the appointment of a milk board or an egg board. It is right that the duration of the commission should be for a definite and fixed term of years, but the GovernorGeneral should have the right of veto as regards the appointment of the general manager.

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