HC Deb 08 May 1940 vol 360 cc1214-5
31. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Minister of Information what steps he is taking to put an end to the illicit trade in advertising which is being carried on by means of programmes broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation involving hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, and which is contrary to the powers vested in the British Broadcasting Corporation?

The Minister of Information (Sir John Reith)

I am not aware that the B.B.C. has acted contrary to the powers vested in it, but I should be glad to have any information that the hon. Member may have.

Mr. Edwards

Is the Minister not aware from his previous experience that there are clauses in the contracts which prohibit dance band leaders from accepting fees, and is it not the case that the B.B.C. are winking at the matter, with the result that the band leaders are receiving from £5 to £25 an item in this way; and will the Minister see to it that if the money has to be paid it goes into the Exchequer?

Sir J. Reith

I know that the B.B.C. has been trying to eliminate this evil of song plugging. I know that the items in a dance band programme were, and are, chosen on their merits, but I know that the B.B.C. finds an extraordinary difficulty in getting the co-operation of all concerned. They have been doing what they can and hope to minimise the evil.

Mr. MacLaren

Change public taste.