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Thursday, 11 September 1958


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Bowden (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - Order! The honorable member's time has expired.


Mr CALWELL - If no other honorable member wishes to speak at once, I will take my second period. I thank the committee for its generosity, and I will not impose long upon it.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN

Order! The honorable member must wait until the Chair asks him to resume.


Mr CALWELL - May I?


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN -

The honorable member may resume.


Mr CALWELL - Thank you, Sir. I have never seen you so generous or accommodating as you are on this occasion.

The second count upon which the board'sreport vindicates the Opposition is that it justifies the Opposition in voting against the legislation introduced by the Menzies Government to permit the establishment of commercial television stations as being against the public interest. Further, it justifies the claim made by the Opposition, when the legislation was being discussed, that any and all commercial station licences granted by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board would be given to newspaper interests. Fourthly, it justifies the demand of the Opposition that the Parliamentary Committee on Broadcasting should be reestablished so that Parliament can be regularly informed on what is happening in the fields of television and broadcasting and, particularly, on the stranglehold, the complete monopoly established by the greedy few, and the many other undesirable features associated with commercial television in this country.

I asked the Prime Minister a question recently on what I called the monolithic monopoly growth that his Government has permitted to develop with newspaper interests owning and controlling all the newspapers, most of the commercial radio stations and all the commercial television stations. The Prime Minister said that all monopolies were monolithic, but that is not so. In the United States of America, there is a pluralistic form of capitalism, and an anti-trust law that, while not forbidding newspapers from entering the radio or television fields, would not allow radio or television interests to be associated with newspapers, or with each other, to the extent obtaining in this country. America is the home of competitive free enterprise, but the monolithic monopoly in Australia in the media of mass communication is the negation of that form of private enterprise, and constitutes a threat to our democracy and a menace to our free institutions.







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