HC Deb 11 March 1942 vol 378 cc1058-9
50. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that some thousands of employees of the British Broadcasting Corporation are not adequately serving the country; and whether he will give consideration to a proposal for the appointment of a Select Committee to investigate the expenditure of money and man-power by the British Broadcasting Corporation?

Mr. Attlee

No, Sir. His Majesty's Government regard the work done by the B.B.C. as of great national importance and have asked the Corporation to undertake a steady expansion of their services. The question of reservation of B.B.C. staff from military service has been considered by Lord Kennet's Committee and in order to facilitate the release of those members of staff who are not essential, the age of reservation of male administrative staff has recently been raised from 3o to 35. I would moreover refer to the recent appointment by the Governors of the B.B.C. of Mr. Robert Foot as Joint Director-General, to take chief executive control of the administrative and financial aspects of the Corporation's services under war-time conditions with the object of securing the most economical use of money and man-power.

Mr. Edwards

Is my right hon. Friend aware there is great doubt whether the many thousands of people in this organisation are really giving value for their money? They are spending untold millions of pounds, and is it not time that the House had an opportunity of ascertaining the facts?

Captain Plugge

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that these thousands of emplayees are giving of their very best in one of the most vital weapons of the war and in view of the fact that every hour of efficient broadcasting saves thousands of British lives by shortening the war, will he consult with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Information in order to study in what way this vital arm can be extended?

Mr. Attlee

I am sure that my right hon. Friend will take note of that.