HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc1076-7
29. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the prohibition by Anglia Television of an advertisement for a series of articles in the Sunday Citizen entitled, "The Rotten Reich"; and if he will consult the Independent Television Authority under Section 4 of the Television Act 1954, with a view to clarifying the rules which govern advertisements which may be considered political.

Mr. Bevins

The I.T.A. tells me that the advertisement to which the hon. Member refers was refused by Anglia Television Ltd., after consultation with the I.T.A., as being unacceptable in the light of Section 3 (1, a) of the Television Act. The latter part of the Question does not, therefore, arise.

Mr. Pavitt

Does the Section to which the Postmaster-General refers provide for the advertiser whose announcement have been banned being given the reasons for the action taken? As, in this particular instance, there has been a complete black-out by the joint censorship committee of the British Poster Advertising Association, is it not imperative that the Government should keep at least this line of communication open so that the banning of advertisements will not be imposed by purely private means?

Mr. Bevins

The attitude of the Poster Association has nothing to do with me or with the Post Office, but I can tell the hon. Gentleman and the House that the third advertisement offered to Anglia Television by the Sunday Citizen drew attention to an article which was entitled, "The Blue Angels of Frankfurt", which dealt with prostitution in Germany. Both Anglia Television and the I.T.A. regarded this as offensive to good taste under Section 3 (1, a), and refused, I think rightly, to accept it.

Mr. Farr

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that, in general, it is not desirable to have matters of a political nature advertised on television?

Mr. Bevins

That, with respect to my hon. Friend, is a much more highly controversial slant to the question, but the fact is that this particular advertisement was refused, not on political grounds but because it offended good taste.

Mr. Hynd

Would not the Postmaster-General consider that one of the best ways of dealing with this situation would be for the Government to give time for the introduction of a Bill preventing the dissemination of racial hatred?

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