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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

Mr HOLMAN (Martin) .- This clause authorizes the commission to collect news and information relating to current events, and, presumably in order to do that, it is authorized to establish and subscribe to news agencies. It does not, however, authorize the commission to disseminate the information and news so collected. I imagine that it is the intention of the Government that the commission may, if it thinks fit, not only collect news and information, but also distribute it. If that is the intention, it would be as well to say so in this clause.

Mr Fenton - That is the intention. The clause is practically a copy of the charter of the British Broadcasting Corporation. If it is not sufficiently clear, an amendment can be made in another place.

Mr Hughes - The commission being a broadcasting commission would collect news and information only for the purpose of broadcasting it.

Mr HOLMAN - The commission has other functions. It may, for instance, publish a periodical, and it may be urged that this clause merely authorizes it to collect news and information for use in connexion with the publication.

Mr Fenton - Why would the commission subscribe to news agencies, excepting to distribute the news and information collected from them?

Mr HOLMAN - The committee would be wise to make it perfectly clear that the news and information, when collected, shall be available to the commission for distributing by means of broadcasting.

Mr Hughes - Clause 16, which sets ont the functions of the commission, provides that it shall undertake the provision and rendition of adequate and comprehensive programmes for broadcasting. In order that it may carry out those functions, clause 23 authorizes it to do certain things.

Mr HOLMAN - In order to make the position perfectly clear, I move -

That after the word " collect " the words " and distribute " be inserted.

Mr Gregory - Why not " and broadcast"?

Mr HOLMAN - My amendment would make it possible for the commission to distribute it in any way it chose.

Mr Fenton - I accept the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 24 to 26 agreed to.

Clause 27 (Australasian Broadcasting Commission Fund).

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