HC Deb 04 February 1942 vol 377 cc1167-8
23. Mr. Bernays

asked the Minister of Information why no reference was made in the summary of the House of Commons Debate on the 9 o'clock news of the British Broadcasting Corporation, on Wednesday, 28th January, to the speeches delivered that afternoon by the right hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) and the right hon. Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert)?

Mr. Bracken

I regret that no reference was made in this broadcast to the speeches of my right hon. Friends. I understand that the B.B.C. found it impossible to compress within the length of their news bulletin summaries of all the speeches made in this House during a Debate which lasted nine hours. The responsibility for reporting speeches rests with the editors of the bulletin, and I think it would be a deplorable development if I were to interfere in any way with their freedom of selection.

Mr. Bernays

While appreciating the considerations which my right hon. Friend has put before the House, may I ask him whether, in view of the difficult and important nature of Parliamentary reporting, the person responsible for the selection of the speeches—a very difficult task—has had experience in the Lobby and the Gallery?

Mr. Tinker

Why the speeches of right hon. Members? Should not hon. Members have been mentioned too?

Mr. Bracken

I quite appreciate my hon. Friend's point. The person responsible for the selection of these speeches is, I understand, an experienced political journalist, but I think the B.B.C. will read my hon. Friend's Question and will take his advice into account.

Mr. George Griffiths

Is this canvassing?

Mr. Kirkwood

How about backbenchers?

Mr. Bracken

I have nothing to do with the matter.