§ 61. Dr. Santo Jeger
asked the Minister of Information whether his attention has been drawn to the non-factual broadcast on Parliamentary proceedings of the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller) on 1st December last; and whether he will see that in future the impartial standard of these accounts of Parliamentary proceedings is maintained.
The Minister of Information (Mr. E. J. Williamsh)
In the series ' The Week in Westminster ' Members of the main parties are invited in rotation to broadcast an account of the week's proceedings in which they have taken part. Arrangements for these broadcasts are entirely in the hands of the B.B.C. I am informed that the understanding between the B.B.C. and the speaker is that he should give a broad personal impression of what he heard and saw in Parliament, but should not use the opportunity to state the views of parties or individuals other than those which have been expressed in Parliament during the week.
Could the right hon. Gentleman state any fact which was stated in this broadcast which was inaccurate? Is he aware that Members on this side of the House thought that the hon. Member for Daventry gave a most favourable impression?
§ Captain Blackburn
Will the Minister at any rate recommend that these broadcasts should, so far as possible, be confined to policy rather than to personalities?
§ Mr. Maxton
Can the Minister tell us how Members who are capable of doing this are discovered? Are there employed, as by football clubs, persons who are known as "talent spotters "? I am aware of two eminent hon. Members who have been missed.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
On a point of Order. Is it not still the custom to give notice to a Member if one intends to make a criticism of his personal conduct? No notice was given to me.
§ Mr. Speaker
It appears in the form of a Question, that is the trouble. I think that the hon. Member might have been informed.
§ Mr. Nicholson
Is it not a fact that many broadcasts by Members on the other side of the House have been infinitely more biased? I cannot see any harm in bias.