HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 c451
30. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Postmaster-General if he will seek to amend the Licence and Agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the Television Act, 1954, in order to provide that when statements have been made on talks or political broadcasts which are subsequently found to be inaccurate the first possible opportunity must be taken to correct the error and such correction must be repeated at least twice.

Mr. Marples

No, Sir.

Mr. Johnson

Does not my right hon. Friend think it very serious if misstatements are put out over a wide television network and are not corrected? Would he at least try to arrange that the B.B.C. and I.T.A. make transcripts of all the previous day's spoken transmissions and that these transcripts are supplied on the following day and made available in the Library for hon. Members to check?

Mr. Marples

That would be a heavy commitment for the B.B.C. and I.T.A. to undertake. It also raises the question of what is a misstatement. There are many views about it. Many misstatements are of a trivial nature. Those which are of a serious nature become news, and I think they are corrected almost immediately both in broadcasting and in the Press.