HC Deb 15 December 1965 vol 722 cc1254-5
29. Mr. Victor Yates

asked the Postmaster-General in view of the widespread dissatisfaction about the present standards of television programmes, if he will introduce legislation to enable a full inquiry to be held into the impact of the present television programmes upon all sections of society, especially children, and the need for greater supervision.

Mr. Benn

No, Sir. A Committee to initiate and co-ordinate research into the part television plays or could play as a medium of communication and fostering attitudes, particularly of young people, was appointed in July, 1963 by the then Home Secretary. It is under the chairmanship of Mr. Noble, Vice-Chancellor of Leicester University.

Mr. Yates

In view of the increasing number of people who have become anxious about programmes which are thoroughly offensive and feature a considerable amount of violence, will my right hon. Friend persuade the broadcasting authorities to examine this problem more closely, particularly in view of the increased amount of vandalism and crime and the need to ensure that these media do not increase or encourage crime?

Mr. Benn

What my hon. Friend says certainly confirms the wisdom of the previous Government in appointing this Committee. However, I greatly hope that we will have an opportunity of a short debate in the House, perhaps in response to the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Mr. Dance), so that some of the difficulties can be more fully aired.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Is the right hon. Gentleman able to say when the Committee will report and whether its report will be purely for the B.B.C. or whether it will be published so that we can all see it?

Mr. Benn

With respect, that question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. The first working paper has already been published and further documents will be coming out. I will make some inquiries on the subject and let the hon. Gentleman know.