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Wednesday, 3 June 1942


Mr ROSEVEAR (Dalley) .- I oppose the amendment. This is one of the most important clauses in the bill, for it relates to the basis upon which our broadcasting organization will be developed. In my opinion, the clause is quite broad enough to embrace all the potential talent that may be required for the national broadcasting service. The clause provides that a person shall not be admitted to the service of the commission unless he is a natural-born or naturalized British subject. The honorable member forReid (Mr. Morgan) has said that, after the war, there may be an influx of foreigners. I remind him that, after the war, many Australians may be looking for jobs.


Mr Morgan - If so, it will not be to the credit of the Government.


Mr ROSEVEAR - It would not be to the credit of the Government if one of its organizations employed foreigners while Australians were looking for work. The clause provides that employees must pass a medical examination. They must also obtain their appointments by competitive examination, which is only fair.


Mr Blackburn - The commission can waive that provision. .


Mr ROSEVEAR - But only in a limited number of cases. I take it that the intention of the Government is that the commission shall have a certain amount of discretionary power in connexion with appointments for which a high standard of education is not required. The next provision in the clause is that successful applicants for jobs must make and subscribe an oath or affirmation in accordance with the "prescribed form". I have not the least doubt that this will be an oath of loyalty. I can well imagine that the foreigners whom the honorable member forReid expects to come here for sanctuary after the war, and who will be looking for good jobs, will be willing to take an oath of loyalty. They would probably take any oath, with their fingers crossed. That would not be satisfactory to me. Broadcasting is one of the most important features of our daily life. The Australian Broadcasting Commission deals with the cultural and educational sides of national life,' provides entertainment for the people, and, at times, disseminates national propaganda. All of these things should be based on sound Australian sentiment. The national broadcasting system, above all things, is the proper instrument for the cultivation of a true Australian sentiment, and I believe that we have in Australia sufficient talent for this purpose. There is nothing in the bill to prevent the commission from employing anybody to give casual broadcasts on any subject. The clause deals only with the permanent staff of the commission. I point out to those honorable members who have a taste for imported art that there are Australian artists equally as good as the imported artists who have been engaged at very high fees by the commission.


Mr Brennan - Is the honorable member talking about artists or the commission's administrative staff?

Mr.ROSEVEAR. - I am pointing out, for the edification of the honorable member, that this clause does not prevent any foreigners from doing casual work for the commission.


Mr Morgan - It does prevent the casual employment of such persons.

Mr.ROSEVEAR.- I have listened to many imported artists. In my opinion, some of them ought to have been " on the ether",but many of them ought to have been " under the ether ". For this reason, I say that Australia can produce artists capable of satisfying any of the commission's needs. When all is said and done, an alien must reside in Australia for only five years in order to become naturalized, and so become equally eligible with Australians for appointment to these positions. I have no patience with the people who are always clamouring for something foreign from the broadcasting service. They are the sort of people who cannot enjoy a decent meal unless it is prepared by a French chef and eaten to the accompaniment of music played by a Hungarian orchestra. I maintain that, at the time when the honorable member for Reid expects an influx of foreigners looking for good jobs, there will probably be many

Australians looking for any kind of respectable work. Therefore, the clause as it stands ought to be sufficient to satisfy anybody.







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