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Wednesday, 3 June 1942


Mr HOLT (Fawkner) .- I should like the Minister, if he can, to give some information as to the purpose of this clause. I could understand it, if its operations were to be limited to the duration of the war. Under it, power is given to the Minister to prohibit the commission, by notice given orally, by telegram or in writing, from broadcasting any matter, or matter of any class or character, specified in the notice, or to require the commission to refrain from broadcasting any such matter. One can appreciate that, on security grounds it might be necessary in war-time to restrict the commission from referring to matters in respect of which secrecy may be desired. But this is not merely a war-time measure; it is an en during provision. It would seem to give to the Minister extraordinary control over the matter with which the commission may deal.


Mr Blackburn - There is a corresponding provision in relation to commercial stations.


Mr HOLT - My understanding was, that the commission was to be as free as possible from ministerial and political interference. This would seem to give ' to the Minister complete power, and an unfettered discretion to determine what matter may be broadcast. May we take it that, far from there being an absence of political control, the Minister may make whatever determination he chooses as to what shall be put on the air by the commission?







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