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Wednesday, 3 July 1946

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Minister for Immigration and Minister for Information) . - We have come early to the matter that divides the committee, the matter of whether the proceedingsof both Houses of the Parliament shall be broadcast or whether there shall be the broadcast of the one House at onetime and of' the other at another time. In the opinion of the Broadcasting Committee, there are insuperable technical difficulties in the way of broadcastingthe proceedings of both Houses at theone time, and the cost of such an experiment would be about £500,000. The-

Government cannot accept an amendment which purports to override the insuperable. Nor can it incur the expenditure of £500,000 in tying , up 22 national broadcasting stations, because that is what is involved, instead of six national stations, one in each capital city, and a seventh in Newcastle, andsuch other regional or short-wave stations as the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings decides. It has been suggested that the short-wave and regional stations are not to be used for the broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings. No one has. any authority to say that. The committee will decide that, and if I understand the temper of honorable members aright, it is almost unanimously desired that the regional stations, as well as the national stations in the capital cities and in Newcastle, shall be given the opportunity of broadcasting the proceedings of the Parliament. We must start somewhere, and we are making this experiment in the way in which the Broadcasting Committee itself recommended. The amendment cuts right acrosswhat is recommended, and the Government cannot accept it.

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