HC Deb 01 February 1945 vol 407 cc1625-6
45. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Prime Minister if consideration has been given to the action that is required over the renewal of the B.B.C.'s Charter; and can he make a statement.

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

This matter is under examination but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Graham White

Is it proposed to hold an inquiry into the renewal of the Charter, as was done when the Charter was last renewed?

Mr. Attlee

No decision has been come to on that matter. We have the Ullswater Committee's conclusions before us.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is it not a fact that the renewal has to take place next year, and does that not make the matter one of urgency? If we are to conduct this on a democratic basis, could not some committee be set up to take evidence from representative organisations and to start public discussion?

Mr. Attlee

That is a matter for consideration. We are going into it, but a great many things are pressing this year, besides those for next year.

Mr. Edgar Granville

In view of the fact that during war time the control is vested in the Ministry of Information, may I ask whether the House of Commons will be given an opportunity of discussing the matter on the Ministry of Information Vote?

Mr. Attlee

That is hardly a question for me. My hon. Friend will no doubt see whether there are opportunities for raising it on a Supply day.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Deputy Prime Minister give a pledge not to renew the Charter of the B.B.C. unless they abolish that appalling feature known as the Brains Trust?