§ 20. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne
asked the Minister of Information what percentage of the persons employed by the British Broadcasting Corporation at the station which has been referred to in correspondence with the Minister, who were under 41 years of age, were aged less than 30; and what efforts have been made to replace those under 41 years of age with people over that age?
I am informed by the B.B.C. that, of the adult male staff under 41 at the centre in question, 37 per cent. are between the ages of 18 and 30. This figure is made up of 16 per cent, who are above the age of reservation appropriate to their occupation, 14 per cent, who are either medically unfit and have been discharged from service or are awaiting calling-up, and 7 per cent, who are key staff in respect of whom the Corporation have applied for deferment, either limited or indefinite. Wherever possible, the Corporation has replaced men under 30 by men over that age or by men unfit for, or discharged from, the Forces, or by women. It is continuing to recruit such persons through such sources as the Central Register and public advertisement.
§ Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne
Is my right hon. Friend satisfied with the position at this centre, to which I have referred in correspondence with him, considering the vast number of young men who are employed there?
I think the reply I have given shows that the proportion of young men who are fit for military service and are being employed there is very small, and these men are being employed on duties which are of the very first importance from the point of view of our war effort.
§ Captain Cobb
Would it not be a good thing to replace the official of the B.B.C. who was responsible; for passing the filthy postcript to the news on Tuesday night?
§ Mr. Pickthorn
If those services are of first importance in the war effort, on what grade of importance is fighting?