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Wednesday, 10 September 1958
Page: 1024

Mr DAVIDSON - Once again, I have to suggest that an honorable member - and an honorable friend of mine - has couched his question in rather extravagant terms. I have found that that is a habit of Opposition' members in asking questions about this matter. I fully realize the importance of the quality in television programmes, but the steady improvement of programme quality will not be assisted by an extravagant presentation of some of the features of programmes that some honorable members may consider to be not as desirable as they would like them to be.

The honorable member has asked what action is taken to see that the programmes presented on television are of a reasonable quality. In the first place, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, acting under instructions from the Government, established programme standards for programmes of all types - standards that the commercial television stations would be required to observe. I have copies of the standards available for the honorable member or any one else who may want them. After the standards had been laid down, the board had conferences with representatives of all the television licensees, discussed these standards with them, and obtained undertakings from the licensees that they would do their utmost to observe the required standards. In addition, the board has a staff of monitors who regularly monitor not only radio programmes, as they have done for years, but also television programmes. If any departure from the standards laid down by the board is seen, the licensee concerned is immediately contacted. The board has found, so far, that whenever the attention of a licensee has been directed to some departure from the approved standards the licensee has been prepared to fall into line with the board's requirements.

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