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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 1761

Senator WEBSTER - I wish the Minister for the Media to answer the latter part of a question which I directed to him and which was the main part of the question. I ask: As the Minister had instituted some restriction on television stations entering into commitments overseas, are the requested limitations on the purchase of overseas programs still in force? The Minister did not answer that part of the question and I ask him to do so. I asked also: Have the television networks complied with the Minister's earlier request? The Minister did not answer that. I then asked: Has the request for limitations on overseas purchases now been lifted?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I was under the impression that I had answered all the questions asked by Senator Webster. In reply to his specific question as to whether I instituted proceedings requesting limitations on the purchase of programs abroad, I did not institute proceedings but I made a request to the stations that they not engage in the purchase at that time. As to whether the limitations are still in force, I thought I mentioned to the honourable senator that stations now have buyers overseas and have had them overseas since September.

Senator Webster - With your authority?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I cannot stop them. I only make the request. There is no embargo upon them at all. It was just a request that the stations co-operate, and they willingly co-operated. There is no limitation still in force and the buyers have been over there since last September. The honourable senator asked whether the television networks complied with the earlier request. I thought I answered by saying yes, they had extended their co-operation. As to whether the request had been acceded to, again I think I answered yes by saying that the stations did not send their buyers abroad until September.

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