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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 2837

Mr GILES (Angas) - Briefly I should like to try to bring the debate back to the amendment we are considering. This is not really the time for a second reading speech, of which we have had a reasonable number already. Let us look at what has happened up to this point. A little while ago we moved and passed an amendment, moved by the honourable member for Isaacs (Mr Hamer). That amendment, as the Committee knows now, substitutes for an amendment that was to be moved for a statement that medical authorities warn that smoking is a health hazard. That has been accepted. What we are now debating is not the merit of smoking cigarettes, as one or two members of this Committee seem to think, but rather whether clause 3 should be amended to insert the word three' in place of the word 'five'. What this clause says is that a statement shall be spoken and the time occupied by its transmission shall not be for less than 5 seconds. The amendment suggests that 3 seconds should be substituted for 5 seconds.

Mr Barnes - As a minimum.

Mr GILES - That is so. I wish to point out to the Committee 2 things. The first is that all honourable members seem to ignore the fact that the provision is 'not less than 5\ or it may well be 'not less than 3' in a few minutes time. It does not mean that the warning has to be got over in 3 seconds. More than one speaker tonight has suggested very firmly that this is so. It is a signal and the whole of this clause is designed to ensure that the clarity of the signal is the object of the exercise and that the signal, whether it be on radio or television, should be for not less than 3 seconds.

If one wants to argue to a ridiculous extent one could say 'not less than 30 seconds', but when the Committee considers that the phrase we have just used should now be used in sound in those 2 mediums I do not think that any reasonable signal on television or radio would want to run for much more than 4± seconds. That is precisely what this clause aims to achieve. It seeks to ensure that nobody makes such an ass of the signal that it becomes less than 3 seconds and that is why I got to my feet tonight I think this point has been overlooked by the Committee. I do not mind people having views one way or the other but 1 think it is fair to make this point.

The only other thing 1 want to say is not directly related to this clause although one could connect it Briefly I want to take up the interjection made by the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) earlier in this debate and the reply to an interjection by the previous speaker, the honourable member for Blaxland (Mr Keating). I ask honourable members to take some cognisance of what was said for in both cases it was firmly implied that the attitude of the Australian Labor Party to the mass media is that the Australian Labor Party would nationalise all television stations.

Mr Keating - That is not true.

Mr GILES - It may well be untrue; I do not know. All I am doing is standing in my place and telling the truth. Two honourable members opposite tonight have said very firmly that the aim of the Labor Party is to nationalise all television stations.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Drury) - Order! The honourable member for Angas is getting away from the amendment before the Committee.

Mr GILES - 1 do not know whether this is ALP policy or not but if it is not those honourable members should take note of the policy. However, my reason for rising was to point out the necessity for the Committee to consider the phrase 'not less than 3 seconds' in relation to this clause.

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