HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 c139
18. Mr. John Hall

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he is now prepared to answer questions relating to the British Broadcasting Corporation's sound and television programmes.

Mr. Gammans

No, Sir.

Mr. Hall

Whilst thanking my hon. Friend for that very comprehensive reply, may I ask whether he is aware that, whilst we may welcome the provision of more adult programmes, as a relief from the surfeit of sometimes ill-mannered parlour games, there has been general public concern about the suitability of some of the radio and television programmes which have been broadcast recently? Will my hon. Friend be prepared to take the same powers of control over the B.B.C. as he may take over I.T.A. under Section 9 of the Television Act?

Mr. Gammans

No, Sir. It has been the practice of successive Governments to give the B.B.C. full autonomy with regard to programmes, and I think that it would be contrary to the general view of the House that we should interfere.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Is the hon. Gentleman not being too sweeping in that reply? Is it not a fact that previous Ministers have answered for the B.B.C. Overseas Services, which have received a grant-in-aid and, therefore, are answerable to this House?

Mr. Gammans

I thought that the Question referred to home programmes only.