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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- I admire the way in which honorable members of the Opposition can raise a hare and raise a perspiration in pursuit of it. I also admire the vehemence of their remarks. They have claimed that ministerial members support the deletion of this clause relating to advertising because some newspapers favour the amendment, and they have quoted from a circular dated the 31st March. As a matter of fact, I criticized the Government's bill, particularly this clause, long before the 17th March when the House adjourned.

Mr Forde - The honorable member was supplied with the material that was afterwards included in circulars to members.

Mr WHITE - That is not correct. I regret that honorable members opposite have such fertile imaginations.

Mr A GREEN (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The honorable member was ready to jump when told to jump.

Mr.WHITE. - Honorable members opposite are so accustomed to domination that they cannot credit the fact that others are not controlled. It is true that Cabinet agreed to the bill as originally introduced, but its contents were not made known to any member of the party outside the Ministry, and I, as a member of a free party, not a tradeshalldominated caucus, together with the honorable members for Parramatta (Mr. Stewart), Perth (Mr. Nairn), and North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), promptly criticized it adversely. The measure was immediately reconsidered by Cabinet, and certain proposed amendments were then announced. Honorable members opposite who do not usually look beyond the confines of Australia have been considering what is done in Great Britain. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Forde) claims that the British Broadcasting Corporation is allowed to include advertising in its programmes. Surely he is aware that there are no B class stations in Great Britain. I was hopeful that something in the nature of the control exercised in Great Britain would be adopted here, and I opposed the bill as originally brought down, although I welcomed it as an advance on the measure brought down by the previous Government. As a listener I object to advertising being sandwiched in between classical musical items. I wish the A class stations - with which we are dealing at the present moment - to give the best entertainment possible without including advertisements. Surely a licence-fee of 24s. demands the best of programmes; but hitherto the B class stations have been providing a better service than the A class stations, and the privately controlled 3UZ station in Melbourne, in my opinion, gives even a better musical programme than any A class or other B class station. It is true that it mostly broadcasts gramophone records, but they are of a high standard. This bill is an attempt to improve the existing control of broadcasting, and I regret that when an effort is being made to prevent A class station programmes from being interspersed with advertisements, honorable members opposite should claim that it is being done because of newspaper pressure. No listener, I am sure, would approve of such interference with programmes broadcast by A class stations.

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