HC Deb 11 February 1942 vol 377 cc1508-9
23. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that large sums of public money are being paid by the British Broadcasting Corporation to radio stars or their agents, out of proportion to their real value; and whether he will publish a statement giving examples of the higher fees paid?

Mr. Bracken

I am sure that this is a matter which should be left to the Governors of the B.B.C.

Mr. Edwards

Could not the House have some information on this matter? If I put down another Question, would the right hon. Gentleman be able to find out whether £75 was normal pay for a seven-minutes' talk by an alleged star of, say, "Hi, Gang"?

Mr. Bracken

If my hon. Friend will send me the evidence to which he refers, I will, of course, call the attention of the Chairman of the B.B.C. to it, but I really think it would be a mistake for me to get up in the House and answer questions on every detail of the management of the B.B.C.

Mr. Edwards

My Question did not ask for that. I asked whether, if I put down another Question, the Minister will give an answer to a specific point. I cannot recall such a Question as this ever being answered in this House before.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Is the Minister aware that it is said that the members of the Brains Trust get £20 for attempting to answer very simple questions, and that they are said to record two sessions at the same time and thus draw a fee of ¢40; and does he think that what they give to the public is worth it?

Mr. Bracken

It shows that they have brains.

Mr. Lawson

Is the Minister sure that they have any brains?

Mr. Austin Hopkinson

Is it not the fact that the Brains Trust give more innocent amusement to the people than any other broadcast?