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Tuesday, 23 August 1960

Mr Ward d asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -

1.   What legislative restrictions stated to be designed to prevent the growth of monopolistic control are imposed in respect of capital investment in (a) radio broadcasting and (b) television stations?

2.   What limitation is imposed in respect of foreign capital investment in radio broadcasting and television stations?

3.   Are radio and television companies obliged to notify the Commonwealth authorities of any change in their financial structure?

4.   Are details showing the source of the capital invested in radio broadcasting and television Stations furnished to the Commonwealth, and is this information available to members?

Mr Davidson - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The legislative provisions which are designed to prevent monopolistic control of the broadcasting and television services are contained in Part IV. of the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942-1960.

2.   Section 92d of the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942-1960 provides that not less than 80 per cent, of the issued capital of a company holding a licence for a commercial television station shall be beneficially owned by Australian interests and that not more than is per cent, of the issued capital shall be beneficially owned by a person who is not a resident of Australia or by a company controlled by such persons. There is no similar provision in regard to the broadcasting services.

3.   Licences for both broadcasting and television stations are subject to a condition that substantial changes in the beneficial ownership of shares and the memorandum and articles of association of the licensee company shall not take place without the approval of the Minister.

4.   The annual reports of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board provide considerable information on this aspect. The twelfth report of the board for the year ended 30th June, 1960, will be tabled in the next few weeks. Should the honorable member require more detailed information than is contained in the board's reports, I shall be pleased to discuss the matter with him. I should point out that one of the main purposes of the Broadcasting and Television Act 1960 which was passed in the last session of the Parliament was to make the previous legislation limiting the ownership and control of television stations effective.

Visits to Australia by Former Kings of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

Mr Peters s asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice -

1.   Has he any information concerning the reported visits to Australia of the former kings of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia?

2.   Are the visits to be made in a private or official capacity?

3.   Is the purpose of the visits by these former kings to raise funds from among their former subjects to help in the restoration of their lost causes?

4.   If he has no information regarding the matter, will he make appropriate inquiries?

5.   If he finds that the position warrants it, will he take action to prevent any attempt by these deposed kings and their friends to cause dissension among, or to retard the assimilation of, new Australians born in either Bulgaria or Yugoslavia?

Mr Downer (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   My department has not been informed of any intention of the former King of Bulgaria to visit Australia. The former King of Yugoslavia, King Peter, has applied for and has been granted a visa to visit Australia, arriving at the end of August.

2.   The visit by ex-King Peter will be in an entirely private capacity so far as the Commonwealth Government is concerned. . 3 and 4. There has been no indication of any intention to raise funds during the visit.

5.   I have been given no cause to suppose that the visit will cause serious dissension of a kind of which the Commonweath Government could or should take note; or that new settlers' assimilation will be retarded by the visit.

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