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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Senator AMOUR (New South Wales) . - The Joint Committee on Broadcasting considered that the percentage of Australian compositions used by our broadcasting systems could be greatly increased, and it inquired as to their capacity to use at least 10 per cent, of Australian compositions in their programmes. At present they use about 5 per cent, of Australian compositions. The contemplated increase was very great, and it was not known whether either the commercial system or the national stations would be able to use 10 per cent, of local works. Columbia Graphophone (Australia) Proprietary Limited might have difficulty in recording that quantity of Australian works, but the committee has recommended that the firm should be required to do so. If that were done a great deal of assistance would be given to Australian composers. The committee was just as mindful as Senator Lamp of this problem and i; investigated the matter thoroughly. I assure the honorable senator that there would be grave difficulty in finding suitable talent, because listeners expect to hear the very best in radio broadcasts. I consider that the Australian Broadcasting Commission has done a great deal to encourage Australian talent, and, if it continues this good work, the date when 2£ per cent, of Australian compositions will be broadcast cannot be far distant. I am sure that both the national stations and the commercial stations are anxious and willing to use Australian compositions if sufficient good talent is available.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 97 (Political broadcasts).

Amendment (by Senator Ashley) proposed -

That the clause be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new clauses -

I' 97. - (1.) Subject to the provisions of this section, the commission may determine to what extent and in what manner, during the period commencing on the date of the issue of the writs, and ending on the date fixed for the return of the writs, for an election for the Parliament of the Commonwealth or a State or for any House of any such Parliament or for any vacancy in any such House ( in this section referred to as ' the election period') political speeches or any matter relating to a political subject may be broadcast from national broadcasting stations, and the licensee of a commercial broadcasting station may during the election period arrange for the broadcasting of such speeches or matter from that station. (2.) During the election period, the broadcasting of any political speech or of any matter relating to a political subject shall be subject to the following provisions : -

(a)   The commission or the licensee of a. commercial broadcasting station shall not, at any time prior to the close of the poll on the day on which any such election is held or at any time on either of the two days immediately preceding that day, broadcast any political speech or any matter relating to a political subject; and

(b)   The commission or the licensee of a commercial broadcasting station shall not broadcast any dramatization of matter relating to a political subject. 97a. - (1.) The commission, in the case of a national broadcasting station, or the licensee, in the case of a commercial broadcasting station, shall cause to be announced the true name and description of every speaker, who is, either in person or through the agency of a sound recording device, to deliver an address or make a statement relating to a political subject or current affairs for broadcasting from the station. If the address is to be delivered or the statement is to be made on behalf of a political party, the name of the party shall be included in the announcement. (2.) The announcement shall be made at such a time and in such a manner, before and after the address or statement, as fully to disclose the identity of the speaker to any person listening to the broadcast of the address or statement. (3.) The commission or the licensee, as the case may be, shall keep a record of the name, postal address and credentials or occupation of each such speaker, and shall furnish to the Minister any particulars of the record which the Minister by notice in writing requires.".

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