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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 388

Senator JESSOP - I also wish to direct a question to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the 'AM' programme broadcast yesterday in which a Mr Blood interviewed Senator Douglas McClelland? I ask whether his attention has been drawn to a statement by Mr Blood that when Mr Whitlam addressed the federal conference of the Australian Broadcasting Commission Staff Association in June of last year he said:

.   . il would be dishonest for me to assert that the ABC would be free of criticism, free of pressure muter a Labor government. I confess that there is an authoritarian streak'-

The ACTING PRESIDENT- Order! I have already given a ruling that quotations must noi be used during question time. You may give your own interpretation of what somebody has said, but do nol quote.

Senator JESSOP - Is this not a clear indication that a Labor government would subject the ABC to both criticism and pressure?

Senator GREENWOOD - I did hear the radio programme 'AM' broadcast yesterday. I heard what the interviewer said and what Senator Douglas McClelland said. I recall that the interviewer referred to the statement by Mr Whitlam to which Senator Jessop has referred. I also noticed that Senator Douglas McClelland tried to gloss over the statement made by Mr Whitlam by suggesting that possibly a Labor government would not do those dreadful things. I think the position is that the Labor Party ought to make up its mind about where it stands. The conclusion which may be drawn from that 'AM' broadcast and from Senator Douglas McClelland's remarks is that the Labor Party should make up its mind whether it will follow the same broad line as the Government has followed of giving independence to the Australian Broadcasting Commission, whether it will follow the indicated Whitlam line that there will be some political control and direction of the ABC or whether it will follow the current line adopted by some of the ABC staff that they should be able to run the ABC without any control whatsoever.

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