HC Deb 11 December 1946 vol 431 cc1180-2
The Prime Minister

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I propose to make a statement about the appointments to the B.B.C. Board of Governors.

Sir Allan Powell, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Mr. C. H. G. Millis, the Vice-Chairman, have asked to be relieved of their offices when the present Charter expires on 31st December. I should perhaps explain that when they were re-appointed for a second term, it was on the understanding that the position would be reviewed at the end of the war, and they both made it known to the Government that they were ready to retire at any time. The Government are grateful to them for continuing to serve for a few months after the Board was reconstituted earlier in the year in order that the new Governors might have the advantage of their wide knowledge and experience. I should like, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, to express appreciation of the public spirit which they have shown in this connection, as well as of the great services which they have rendered during their long periods of office, and, in particular, of their contribution to the splendid war record of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of Lord Inman as Chairman for a period of five years from 1st January next, and of Lady Reading as Vice-Chairman for four years from the same date. His Majesty has also approved the reappointment of the other existing Governors for further periods of from three to four years, and the appointment of Mr. John Adamson, the chartered accountant, to the vacancy caused by Lady Reading's appointment as Vice-Chairman. The purpose of spreading the retiring dates over a period is to avoid a situation in which the terms of office of all or most of the Governors would expire at about the same time, and the Government thought that the least invidious method would be that the Governors should retire in the same order as they were appointed. I need hardly say that this decision implies no reflection whatsoever upon the Governors who are being reappointed for less than five years. I will circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Prime Minister whether he will state the party affiliations of Lord Inman and of Lady Reading?

Hon. Members


Mr. Churchill

Cannot the Prime Minister be allowed to answer for himself?

The Prime Minister

Lord Inman is a member of the Labour Party in the House of Lords. I am not aware of the party affiliation of Lady Reading, and Mr. Adamson, I understand, takes no active

Date of original appointment Period or appointment for renewal of appointment as from 1st January 1947.
Lord Inman (Chairman) 1st January, 1947 5 years
Lady Reading (Vice-Chairman) 25th April, 1946 4 years
Miss Barbara Ward 4th April, 1946 3 years
Air Marshal Sir R H. Peck 4th April, 1946 3 years
The Rt. Hon Geoffrey W Lloyd 5th April, 1946 3 years
Mr. Ernest Whitfield 22nd July, 1946 4 years
Mr. John Adamson 1st January 1947 5 years
William Ross, esquire, M.A., for the county of Ayr and Bute (Kilmarnock Division).

part in politics, although I believe he is a member of the Conservative Club.

Mr. Churchill

I should like to make it quite clear that I am not, intending to reflect upon the impartial discharge of their duties in the future by the distinguished people mentioned, but it was right, I think, that it should be known that they have party affiliations.

Mr. Scollan

May I ask the Prime Minister whether this Labour appointment means a change in Government policy?

Mr. Clement Davies

Instead of inquiring about political views of the people concerned, may I suggest taking a broader line? May I ask the Prime Minister to consider that in future Scotland and Wales might have a representative, as well as people who live in London?

The Prime Minister

I understand that Mr. Adamson is a Scot, and I suppose that Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd is Welsh.

Following are the details.