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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES (Wakefield) (2:27 AM) . - I agree with the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron). 1 do not want to detract in any way from the efforts of the Joint Committee on Broadcasting, which worked hard for many months, and, in the main, I am prepared to accept its recommendations. For instance, on the subject of the fees payable to members of the commission, the members of that committee were in a better position to form an accurate judgment of the case than other honorable members, who did not have so much detailed information in their possession. However, the proposal to appoint a standing committee reveals a tendency towards unnecessary duplication.

Mr Beasley - I remind the honorable member that the bill does not deal with national stations only; it also deals with the commercial stations. The appointment of the standing committee will give to the commercial stations a means of bringing before Parliament matters which they consider ought to be dealt . with.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - A ny th ing which can be handled by the committee could be handled by the commission.

Sit Frederick Stewart. - The commissionhas no control over commercial station?.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - That is true, but the parliamentary committee, as such, will have no direct control over commercial stations. It may act as a link, but its activities are not proposed to be limited to that. I do not wish to disparage the work of the Joint Committee on Broadcasting, and I regret that, owing to ill health, the honorable member for Boothby (Dr. Price) is not present to-night, because he has taken a keen interest in these matters. My objections to the proposed standing committee are not based on its probable personnel, but on the fact that my experience has always shown that two bodies with somewhat different powers working in the same field invariably conflict and cause overlapping and confusion. Had this matter been left for me to form my own judgment I should have been opposed to the proposal.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 81 to 91 agreed to.

Clause 92-

The powers, privileges and immunities of the committee and of its members shall, subject to this part, be those of each of the Houses of the Parliament and of its members.

Amendment (by Mr. Beasley) agreed to-

That, at the end of the clause, the following words be added : - " and its committees ".

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 93 and 94 agreed to.

Clause 95 (State Broadcasting Advisory Committees).

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