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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1903

Senator JESSOP (South Australia) - I rise to contribute again to this debate. I indicated earlier that this particular Commission is under the scrutiny of Parliament through the AuditorGeneral and also through the medium of the Joint Committee on Public Accounts. Some honourable senators who have not been in this chamber for very long may not appreciate that particular point. I mentioned this when I spoke earlier. I want to make a point here in support of what Senator Guilfoyle has said. Senator Hall would like to give the Minister the power to dictate whatever script is required for his own purposes. We believe that this is a very dangerous power for any Minister to have, because it would enable him to generate his own propaganda machine. From what we have seen of the Labor Government since it came to power, this would be a very dangerous power with which to provide a Minister. But I say this irrespective of the government that may be in power.

Senator Guilfoylehas said already that this amendment moved by the Opposition certainly does not inhibit the Minister's capacity to go to the Australian Film Commission with a request for a certain theme for a film. He goes to the expert body and says that he wants a film made on a particular theme. The Film Commission has the expertise available to comply with a request put in that way from the Minister. The same applies to any department that wants to have a film made. The department has the capacity to go to the expert Commission for that purpose. We believe that it is not in the best interests of the Commission for the legislation to enable the Minister to intrude into this area by dictating what ought to be the actual script of the film that is contemplated. Therefore, I support what Senator Guilfoyle has already said very capably, namely, that we oppose the idea of giving the Minister these powers, and I support her amendment.

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