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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

Mr STEWART (Parramatta) . - Like the last speaker, I am opposed to the amendment, but for entirely different reasons. With the possible exception of paragraph a, I claim that the amendment is unnecessary. The clause provides that the commission shall not broadcast advertisements in general, but there is a proviso in sub-clause a which reads -

Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the commission from broadcasting announcements of its future programmes.

Should it be urged that such announcements would be a breach of the main provision contained in sub-clause %, then I would agree to the proposed new paragraph a. But bearing in mind that the main object of the clause is to prevent the commission from broadcasting advertisements, I cannot see the necessity for proposed new paragraphs b and c. There is nothing in the main clause to suggest that the commission may not broadcast a programme supplied by any organization, firm, or person engaged in artistic, literary, musical, or theatrical production or in educational pursuits. We could as well provide that nothing in the clause shall prohibit the commission from broadcasting any gramophone records, or any vocal solo.

The honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. A. Green) said that he had no objection to the field of ordinary advertising being reserved to the B class stations. He was fair enough to admit that such stations must get their revenue from advertising. He described the fees from that source as the cream of their revenue. In my opinion it is only the skimmed milk, the cream being represented by the 12s. each from 350,000 listeners' licences which goes to the A class stations. I feel confident that the B class stations would willingly exchange milk jugs with the A class stations. The honorable gentleman is prepared to allow the B class stations to enjoy, unrestricted, the ordinary advertising fees, but he considers that the more dignified method of advertising - the sponsored programmes - should be made available to the A class stations. In considering this matter we should have regard to the interests of the listeners rather than those of the associated press, and the other bodies which have been mentioned. In the interests of listeners .the broadcasting advertisements relating to tooth paste, combs, and face powders should cease, in favour of the more dignified sponsored programmes. Indeed, that is the tendency of the better class B stations, for which I claim to be able to speak. They are forsaking the direct, method of advertising, and the cluttering of musical programmes to the annoyance of listeners, in favour of sponsored programmes. If the A class stations are permitted to broadcast spon- sored programmes, the B class stations will be thrown to the wolves, and listeners will suffer accordingly. My chief complaint against the amendment applies to paragraphs b and c, which I consider to be unnecessary.

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