HC Deb 15 April 1948 vol 449 cc1135-6
1. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Minister of Education if he will describe the machinery through which his Department approves the B.B.C.'s educational broadcasts to schools.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

These broadcasts are not subject to approval by the Ministry. In providing the broadcasts the B.B.C. are guided by the School Broadcasting Council for the United Kingdom on which the Ministry, and other educational bodies, are represented.

Major Beamish

While I am in no sense critical of the general run of these broadcasts, which I believe to be of very high quality, does the reply of the right hon. Gentleman mean that he does not in fact exercise any supervision at all over these broadcasts and that he is not in fact really interested in them?

Mr. Tomlinson

No, Sir. It means that we are very strongly represented on the Council but we are not responsible for them.

Major Beamish

If I send the right hon. Gentleman a copy of a broadcast given recently by Mr. G. D. H. Cole to sixth forms to mark the centenary of the Communist Manifesto, which I believe to be of a distinctly partisan nature, will he look into it and give an assurance that such broadcasts will not be allowed in future?

Mr. Tomlinson

I will look at it, but I cannot promise to give an assurance about anything.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the main content of the Communist Manifesto can be got in the history of the Levellers' Movement during the Civil War?

Sir Waldron Smithers

In view of the recently announced policy of the Government to purge the Civil Service, will the Minister use what power he has to extend that purge to the B.B.C.?

Mr. Speaker

This Question deals only with educational broadcasts.

Sir W. Smithers

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. As the Minister of Education has already expressed some measure of responsibility will he use what measures he has to bring about a much needed Communist purge in educational broadcasts?

Mr. Speaker

That is quite another question.