HC Deb 17 July 1958 vol 591 cc1433-4
45. Mr. Dodds

asked the Prime Minister what discussions have taken place and what decisions reached in respect of television playing a bigger part in election proceedings during the three weeks prior to the next General Election, apart from official party broadcasts, than was the case prior to the last General Election.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

No discussions have yet taken place but I understand that the matter is under consideration by all those concerned.

Mr. Dodds

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is essential that these discussions should be expedited, as the future is uncertain and a General Election may come at any time? Also, will he bear in mind that many people find it difficult to understand why the Press should have a licence to give its news and views in the most partisan manner and why television, which could be the greatest medium for bringing our Parliamentary system to the masses, has for so long been in a straitjacket?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Gentleman can rest assured that we are contemplating early discussions on these matters, as the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition knows, and we are not neglecting them.