HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc325-45
Mr. Ian Gilmour

I beg to move Amendment No. 6, in page 5, line 12, to leave out subsection (3).

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Perhaps it would be convenient to the House to discuss, at the same time, Amendment No. 8, in page 5, line 35, at end insert: 'provided that no advertisements shall be deemed to have been made unless the newspaper or magazine or publication has received, or agreed to receive, money or services in return for publishing the information'. and Amendment No. 9, in page 5, line 35, at end insert: Provided that this paragraph shall only apply where payment is made for the publication of such information.

Mr. Gilmour

I agree that it would be convenient, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I hope that you would agree that the Question should be put separately at the end of the debate.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am afraid not. The Question will be put on Amendment No. 6. Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 have not been selected for a Division, but Mr. Speaker has ruled that they may be discussed with Amendment No. 6.

Mr. Gilmour

I appreciate that, and the substance of our Division may be slightly unrelated to Amendment No. 6.

The purpose of the Amendment is to restrict the criminal circle, an objective which has not appealed to the Government in our discussions on the Bill. It would take out of the ambit of the law people who write literary, dramatic or musical works for pirate radio, or who make an artistic work with such intent, and people of that sort.

The Postmaster-General said in Committee that this subsection would catch collaboration by script writers and other people with pirate broadcasts and that there was no reason why it should be left out. It is our contention that there is no reason why it should be kept in, because there is no reason why any sensible Government would want to make into criminals people who are miles away from the criminal mentality. If the Bill is to go through at all, it is reasonable that the people who run the pirate stations and the companies who finance them and the masters of the ships should be caught by the law and punished, but in our submission it is not reasonable that these minor characters, entertainment figures, should be punished according to the criminal law.

Amendment No. 8 is designed to safeguard the freedom of the Press. It arises out of what to us were some rather unexpected remarks by the right hon. Gentleman in Committee, when he said: The Committee can be assured that under the paragraph as it stands the publication of programme details would be an offence, and also that it would be an offence whether or not such publication were requested or paid for by the broadcasters."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee G. 14th March, 1967, c. 210.] In the newspaper world there has always been a fairly clear distinction between advertisements and editorial matter. The latter is put into a paper because those who are running it think that it is worthy of inclusion and will interest their readers. Advertisements are paid for by other people. This distinction has always been fairly clear and valuable, but it is now being abridged and blurred and abolished by the right hon. Gentleman's curious definition of the word "advertisement".

Quite apart from that, of course, it is wrong that a newspaper should be prohibited from publishing news matter which is of interest and value to its readers. It is no good the Postmaster-General pretending that pirate radios are like drug traffic, or something which is wrong and vicious from start to finish, and that any mention of them would be vicious, because that is nothing like the position. It is utterly wrong to force on the Press a general conspiracy to pretend that something is not happening when it is and for the Press to be under pain of imprisonment or fine to pretend that pirate broadcasts are not going on.

There was a similar sort of agreement before the war between the newspapers and the B.B.C., under which the newspapers did not print the programmes of Radio Luxembourg or Radio Normandy, and in return the B.B.C. did not give the starting price of race horses. That was bad enough, but at least the criminal law was not brought in. It was an undercover agreement. Now the same sort of situation will be brought about by the Postmaster-General prohibiting a newspaper from carrying out its function.

The right hon. Gentleman has the most curious views about newspapers. During the Committee stage, he said: What the hon. Gentleman is trying to do, of course, is to allow the Press in this country to defeat the will of Parliament."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee G, 14th March, 1967; c. 214.] That really shows the right hon. Gentleman's incredible misunderstanding of the objects of the Press. The object of the Press is to give its readers a service, to tell them what is going on, and to entertain them. Its object is not to join in a conspiracy at the behest of the Government and pretend that it is not going on.

I hope that the Postmaster-General will say that his remarks in Committee were not given on proper advice, and that he regrets them, that he sees that there is a proper distinction between advertising and editorial matter which the Bill will not seek to abridge, and that he will assure the House that he has no intention of abridging the freedom of the Press.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

The object of this subsection is to make sure that the Bill is effective, and I hope that no one who has studied this matter has any doubt that a subsection of this kind is necessary.

I think that the initial reaction before the Bill was published, but after the Government had announced their intention to publish it, was that the Government would not succeed in devising a Bill which would do the job to which they had set their hands. This was a widely expressed view, but after the publication of the Bill the view was more widely taken that it would be effective, but it will not be if this Clause is seriously interfered with or damaged. Therefore, the Amendment, which seeks to leave out subsection (3), is an extremely important one, because if the subsection were to go, the Bill would be as it was thought it might be, merely a piece of paper which would not do the job at all.

I have some sympathy with the detailed views expressed by the hon. Member for Norfolk, Central (Mr. Ian Gilmour). He is concerned about the Press, and it is right that he should be. That is a pity that in another connection he seems to be withdrawing personally from that situation. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that he retains his philosophical feeling about the importance of the Press, and no doubt when he replies my right hon. Friend will touch on the points made by the hon. Gentleman about Amendments Nos. 8 and 9.

I propose to say a few words about Amendment No. 6, which proposes to leave out subsection (3). This seems to be the Amendment about which we should say something, because, like an earlier one, it is a wrecking Amendment which, if carried, would destroy the Bill and its purpose altogether. I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not press the Amendment to a Division, because if they were to do so it would show that far from giving general support to the Bill and seeking to improve it, as we have understood them to be doing, they were merely seeking to destroy it.

There is one aspect of this Clause which worries me. When I saw the Bill, I felt that it would do the job which it set out to do, but there is one activity which I fear may still be carried out, even with the Clause as it is.

There is one possibility which it seems to me could occur even if the Bill were carried in its present apparently comprehensive form. Let us consider an international company marketing a product which, on the face of it, under the provisions of this Clause, would not be allowed to advertise. Let us suppose that the product is one which is sold internationally, and that the company has a subsidiary in this country, for example, the American Gillette company. In spite of the Bill it could advertise on a pirate radio station. I do not think that it would be caught by these provisions, because it seems to me that the only way in which an advertiser can be caught is if he is located in this country.

If, when the Bill became law, my right hon. Friend were to go to the local organisation of the Gillette company and say that it was advertising on pirate radio, it would reply, "We are not doing anything of the sort. It is the parent company in the United States which is doing so. We have no control over it, and, therefore, we are not responsible". We would, therefore, be faced with the peculiar situation that the parent company in, say, America could continue advertising, while wholly British companies, for example, the Wilkinson Sword Company, would effectively be prevented from advertising its razor blades.

I apologise to my right hon. Friend if I have brought forward this idea rather late in the discussion, but I hope that he will consider whether it might be desirable for a noble Friend in another place to introduce an appropriate Amendment to the Bill—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are discussing whether the subsection should stand part of the Clause or not. We cannot discuss other Amendments now.

Mr. Jenkins

I accept your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, and conclude by saying that having made the general point I shall not proceed to the particular, which I was about to do.

I hope that when he replies to the discussion my right hon. Friend will take note of what I have said, and will find some means of giving us an assurance on the point which I have raised.

Mr. Berry

I hope that the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) will forgive me if I do not follow his general argument, but confine myself to Amendment No. 9.

My hon. Friend the Member for South-end, West (Mr. Channon) and I tabled this Amendment because of some remarks made by the right hon. Gentleman in Committee. It might be thought by people reading paragraph (f) about the publishing of advertisements relating to pirate stations that the Bill needed this paragraph, and that there was nothing in it to which one could take exception, but during the Committee stage the right hon. Gentleman made some remarks—my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central (Mr. Ian Gilmour) referred to some of them—which I think have aroused considerable confusion and controversy, not only in the House, but among the Press and the public as a whole. That is why we have tabled the Amendment.

7.30 p.m.

The present discussion results from an Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Meriden (Mr. Rowland) in Standing Committee—he called it an exploratory Amendment—seeking to investigate a possible loophole. I suspect that the hon. Member got a rather different answer from that which he had expected. Let me divide the columns in newspapers into three categories—advertisement columns, editorial columns, and editorial comment columns. I know that this is an over-simplification, but it will make my point clearer. I quote the right hon. Gentleman's definition, which I think the hon. Gentleman accepted: … publishing any advertisement or programme times and details relating to the station from which broadcasts are made as aforesaid or are to be so made. But that Amendment would mean that these restrictions would no longer apply only to advertisement columns in newspapers and other media. Editorial columns could also be subject to scrutiny and their contents could result in prosecution. My hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central has already quoted one passage of the Postmaster-General's Second Reading speech and I will not repeat it, but when the right hon. Gentleman said: … whether or not such publication were requested or paid for by the broadcasters. the words "or not" are fundamental to the whole problem, because the Postmaster-General is there imposing a serious restriction on the fundamental right of editors to print what they want to print in their editorial columns. One knows of the famous phrase "All the news and pictures fit to print"; that, presumably, would have to read "All the news and pictures fit to print, other than those referring to programmes relating to pirate radio stations."

The Postmaster-General said: What it"— that is, the Bill— would prohibit would be publishing advertisements, including programmes for activities which Parliament is going to make illegal. It would be an intolerable situation if the newspaper were allowed to publish advertisements on behalf of somebody who was carrying out an illegal act, an act which had been forbidden by the House. That is what is being forbidden, and not normal editorial comment. Editors will be just as free to comment as they can on any other crimes at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman was referring to editorial comment columns, and not to editorial columns, with which I am concerned.

A little later in the same speech he said: I take it that all reputable journals would try to make a real effort to keep their advertisements separate from editorial comment. That, again, refers to editorial comment, a point about which we do not complain.

The Postmaster-General went on to say: We are dealing here, however, with what is clearly an advertisement, and, coming back to the major point that my hon. Friend made, it includes future programmes. That, again, refers to advertisements but not to editorial columns. It is the way in which the right hon. Gentleman refers, on the one hand, to editorial comment columns and, on the other hand, to advertisements—which I take to mean advertisement columns—that makes me wonder whether he did not mean what he said in his references to programme details.

He then said: I repeat that all I am interfering with is the freedom of the Press to print advertisements for illegal activities. Again, he said: … it would be intolerable if newspapers were allowed to publish advertisements in furtherance of activities which Parliament has decided must end. We have tabled this Amendment because the right hon. Gentleman has confused advertisement and editorial column. We think it right that "advertisements" should be the more clearly defined by the addition of the word "paid".

In the past, pirate stations have been used, and have therefore been worthy of coverage in editorial comment in the newspapers on a number of occasions. If this Bill becomes an Act and if certain pirate stations continue broadcasting, they will become news again. I gave an example in Committee of the possibility of a pirate radio ship being chased out to sea, or it might be involved in an accident, or catch fire, or even be attacked. All such events would receive coverage in the editorial columns of newspapers, and those stories could include statements by the owners or sponsors which might give news about their intention to continue further illegal broadcasting. I do not mean that they would state, "We will broadcast again tomorrow from 8 in the morning until 8 at night," and giving details of the broadcasts. It would rather be a case of saying, "Despite what has happened, we intend to continue broadcasting, beginning at 6 o'clock tomorrow." It is wrong for the Postmaster-General to try to define news so precisely, and if he persists he will be interfering very seriously with the freedom of the Press.

When we first questioned him in Committee about his statement, he told my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central: What the hon. Gentleman is trying to do … is to allow the Press in this country to defeat the will of Parliament … Parliament decided on Second Reading … That is the will of Parliament … [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee G, 14th March, 1967; c. 210–14.] With great respect, that is not the will of Parliament. This House decided to give the Bill a Second Reading, and the Measure then moved on to a further stage, but Parliament does not decide until the Bill has been through all its stages in both Houses. That is not yet the case.

I hope that the Postmaster-General will feel that we have here a serious principle affecting the right of editors to use their editorial columns as they think fit. If, when pirate radio stations are illegal under this legislation, a pirate station were to give a handout or a "puff" through its public relations officer or by itself, I do not believe that a responsible newspaper would publish it just like that. I do not think that any reputable editor would do so, but it is essential to separate these two things.

I quote from the European Agreement from which the right hon. Gentleman has quoted throughout our discussions. Article 2 (e) refers to the illegality of … the provision of services concerning advertising for the benefit of the stations. Here, again, we have the essential word "advertising". I hope that the Postmaster-General will make this distinction absolutely clear, because the national Press, and the Press throughout the country, are very much confused about what he has said.

Mr. Rowland

We are discussing here three elements. The first is advertisements that are paid for, the second is general news and editorial comment about the activities of pirate stations, and the third is programme details, whether paid for or not paid for. It became clear to me in Committee that there is no dispute between either side that the Bill is intended to deal with advertising that is paid for. Equally, after some initial uncertainty which, I would admit, seemed to characterise some of my right hon. Friend's statements, it was left clear to me that the intention was not to embrace general news or editorial comment about the stations.

That leaves us to deal with programme timings and listings. It has been suggested by hon. Members opposite that the Bill should deal only with those items that are paid for, but that would leave the Bill in too weak condition. The present position is that the newspapers carry programme times and listings for the pirate stations and also for the B.B.C. and commercial television stations. None of these are paid for, but they are advertisements in the sense that they attract listeners and viewers to programmes. To leave the Bill in such a way that this kind of programme listing and details were not covered would unnecessarily weaken the Bill.

After the discussion in Committee, I withdrew my Amendment after saying: In view of the Postmaster-General's assurance that the Clause will refer to programme times and details, whether paid for or not paid for, and in view also of his further assurance to hon. Members opposite that it is not intended to limit freedom of comment or of reporting news about these vessels if they continue to operate …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee G, 14th March, 1967; c. 215.] I thought that as the first assurance satisfied me and the second should satisfy hon. Members opposite, I should withdraw the Amendment. In that spirit I hope that the hon. Member for Norfolk, Central (Mr. Iain Gilmour) will withdraw his Amendment.

Mr. Peyton

The House of Commons should always be suspicious about Ministerial assurances coming from no matter whom. I am not making any imputations about the Postmaster-General, but he will have a successor. I do not believe that the House is ever right easily to part with discretion of a wide variety to Ministers. When they give assurances the House should look upon them with suspicion rather than with gratitude.

The eloquence of the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) was such an effort to him that he has now taken up a relaxed position. Ministers find it easy to deal with opponents, particularly when they are backed by a large majority, but few find it easy to cope with their friends. I congratulated the right hon. Gentleman earlier on having the support of his hon. Friend the Member for Putney, but the most recent speech of the hon. Member has made me think that I was wrong and that I should have sympathised with the Postmaster-General because the hon. Member prolonged the discussion, stimulated debate and introduced irrelevant argument.

My speech on this Amendment can be kept very short. I do not like this subsection and I shall readily vote for its exclusion. I find the words in subsection (3,a) "supplying a cinematograph film" intolerably vague. Who is a supplier? What is meant by the word "supplying"? The provision should be far more precise than such a general word. It seems that anyone who has manufactured or handled in any way a film or record can be held in some sense to be a supplier. I do not like the words, making an artistic work with intent". This is altogether too vague. As my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) pointed out, the words in paragraph (f), publishing any advertisement", are far too wide.

Whatever assurances may be given, these words are objectionable because "advertising" is a very broad term and has a very broad sense as well as the narrow sense in which the term is used from a commercial point of view. It is wholly wrong that Bills of this kind should have phraseology of this sort. I do not believe that there is any need to bring in the people envisaged by this subsection. I accept that the Minister, for reasons which seem to him to be good, wishes to knock out pirate radios. It does not seem that all those reasons are adequate, but I cannot see that it is necessary to introduce all these lesser fry, for people who are very indirectly concerned.

If someone is actually taking part in a broadcast that is a different matter, but it is not necessary, in order to achieve the purpose of the Postmaster-General, to include all these other people. I repeat the arguments which I used earlier, and I am sure that they will commend an echo in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman, that it is very wrong indeed to proliferate the criminal law without abundant justification. We live in an age when there are all kinds of excuses for imposing controls of every conceivable kind on a mass of citizens. It is time that the House of Commons woke up to this fact and developed a much stronger distaste for this practice.

The right hon. Gentleman would in no sense lose prestige or face if he had second thoughts on these points. I should need a lot of convincing that this sort of subsection is in any way necessary for the preservation of the general sense of the Bill. I felt that before, but when the hon. Member for Putney expressed himself in the other sense I felt more than ever convinced that I was right.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I am concerned about this Clause for two reasons. I think that the Postmaster-General is grossly under-estimating the ingenuity of the Press. I understand that it will be entirely legal for a newspaper to comment on programmes which have been put out by a pirate operator illegally so long as those comments refer to a broadcast which has already been heard. According to the Postmaster-General, nothing then will be done.

In practice, this means providing the potential listener with an advertisement or notice of what programmes are available to listen to if newspapers can provide, as they will, regular notices about those programmes as they emerge. Having had some experience of the Press as an editor and a journalist, I say that if the right hon. Gentleman thinks it will be possible to defeat the ingenuity of journalists by this kind of thing he is in for a surprise. It will not work.

Not only is the criminal law being expanded to take in the activities of the pirates, but we are asked to vote that people should be punished and sent to gaol for new activities which are on the far horizon and have not yet happened, but which the Postmaster-General thinks conceivably might happen. The offence is the supplying of a cinematograph film and then we hear about television broadcasts. Can the Postmaster-General tell us what evidence he has that any pirate television or pirate cinematography is being purveyed at present? There is obviously no evidence of that whatever, but the right hon. Gentleman thinks there might be in future. He is, therefore, asking the House to give him powers, not to deal with something which is happening, but against the possibility of what might happen.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

A company was formed in the United States of America for the purpose of coming into the Thames Estuary to broadcast television programmes, but since this Bill was introduced I understand that that company has been disbanded.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

The hon. Member may have interesting information of that kind, but Parliament is seeking to deal with activities which we know about, which we can hear and see. That is a very different matter from seeking powers to deal with a possibility on the far horizon of which we have no detailed knowledge whatever. Are we to assume that the whole argument of the Government is that our international partners have complained that this may arise in the case of television broadcasts? We have no evidence.

We are told that pirate broadcasts interfere with other stations. Are we to suppose that pirate television would necessarily do so? It might, but we do not know. We are told that pirate radio stations make things difficult for the Postmaster-General to proceed with his B.B.C. alternative. Are we to suppose that this would happen in the case of pirate television? It might, but we do not know.

It is objectionable in principle that the House should be asked to give prospective powers for use as, when and if the Postmaster-General says that he may need them, without his having had to show the House that the television or cinematography he is worried about is offensive. These are powers taken unnecessarily in advance, for reasons which have not been shown. They are highly objectionable on that account.

Mr. Edward Short

I want to say a few words about each of the Amendments, although Nos. 8 and 9 really deal with the same point.

The hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) said that he would exclude all the categories in subsection (3). This is what it is sought to achieve by Amendment No. 6. The proposal is tantamount to deleting Clause 5, because if subsection (3) is taken out there is nothing left.

The main effect of tackling the pirate broadcasting problem by the method provided by the European Agreement is that the use of "gunboat" tactics—strong arm tactics—is avoided. Action against the outlaws who are abusing this freedom of the seas is to be achieved under this Agreement without the use of force on the high seas. I am sure that this is a solution which must commend itself to all peace-loving people.

The essence of the Council of Europe method is that acts of collaboration of any kind with the outlaws are to be penalised. In the Bill those acts of collaboration, whose general nature is set out in the European Agreement, are divided into two groups. Broadly, first, there are those who provide goods for the use of the pirates. These are dealt with in Clause 4. Secondly, there are those who provide services essential for the pirates' programmes, and these are dealt with in Clause 5.

To omit Clause 5 would mean that the pirates could continue to receive advertising revenues, the gramophone records and the tapes by which they attract an audience. To do this would make the legislation virtually ineffective, and that would be absurd.

The hon. Member for Yeovil also asked about the word "supplying". I agree that it is a fairly wide word. The only definition I can give is that it is any form of putting in possession, so long as there is the intent to supply.

The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) queried whether there would ever be pirate television broadcasts. There has been one in Holland. The European Convention uses the word "broadcasting", which includes both television and sound broadcasting.

I want to say a few words about Amendment No. 8—

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I said that it was necessary to show, if there were television broadcasts, that they were offensive, that they were objectionable, on the arguments the Government have advanced. That is what I wanted to hear.

Mr. Short

There is no doubt whatever that they would be objectionable from the point of view of copyright, from the point of view of the possible potential hazard to shipping, and also probably from the point of view of interference with other peoples' listening. It is certain that they would be objectionable. This was the view the Council of Europe took. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was here when I said earlier that the Conservative Government, especially the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby), played a considerable part in the drawing up of the Council of Europe Agreement. We are following the Agreement almost to the letter.

There was some discussion in Committee on whether an advertisement is necessarily something which is paid for. I made it quite clear that it is not necessarily something which is paid for. Any insertion in the Press which is intended to benefit a pirate radio station is an advertisement, whether it is paid for or not. It would be quite wrong to exempt advertisements which are not, or which cannot be shown to be, paid for. The obligation under the European Agreement is to penalise the provision of services concerning advertising for the benefit of the stations". The words for the benefit of the stations were not read when this provision was quoted earlier.

The intention of subsection (3,f) is that publication of information about future pirate broadcasts shall be prohibited. It makes no difference in principle whether the publication of such information is paid for or done gratuitously. In either case, the information serves as an advertisement for the station and is obviously put in to benefit the station.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

How far does the argument about benefit go? Would it embrace, for example, a commentary or criticism on a programme which is past, in the way that T.V. and broadcasting commentators freely comment in the Press? Or is it limited merely to announcements about the future? Both might considerably benefit a station by giving it publicity.

Mr. Short

This is a matter, as the hon. and learned Gentleman knows, which the courts would have to interpret.

Moreover, the Amendment would open the way to widespread evasion and corruption. In particular, it would create a situation in which it would be entirely permissible for the pirate broadcasters themselves to publish printed advertisements about their future programmes.

In Committee, the Opposition saw in a paragraph relating to advertisements an attempt to interfere with the freedom of the Press to print news and comment. I said this in Committee: … it certainly would not catch the editorial comment. The editors would be free to comment just as they can now on crime. What it would prohibit would be publishing advertisements, including programmes, for activities which Parliament is"— I hope— going to make illegal. … Editors will be just as free to comment as they can on any other crimes"— prohibited by Parliament— at the present time. In Committee the Opposition sought to show that not all pirate broadcasting, all over the world, would be illegal under the Bill. The hon. Member for Norfolk, Central (Mr. Ian Gilmour) sought to categorise newspaper contents as consisting of advertisements which are paid for, … comments, and … news."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee G, 14th March, 1967; c. 211–13.] This is not comprehensive. As I have pointed out over and over again, an advertisement need not be paid for. It would be quite wrong to confine the effect of the paragraph to advertisements which are paid for. Indeed, that might amount to an invitation to corruption, since there are many ways in which recompense can be made for "services rendered" without honest payment.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

Surely that point is met by Amendment No. 8, which includes services. We have not restricted advertisements to those for which payment is received. We have also put in services.

Mr. Short

The hon. Member is quite right.

Moreover, information about future broadcasts might often be published by newspapers without any charge to the broadcasters. It is the deliberate intention to prevent this, because such publicity would be helpful to those engaged in illegal broadcasting.

The Bill has been carefully drafted, particularly in the tenses used, so as to catch only things which serve as advertisements. References to past broadcasts would not be caught. References to future broadcasts would be caught. That is the intention, and that is the effect of the wording used.

My hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) raised the question of an international company with a British subsidiary, the case where the international company was advertising through a broadcasting station here. I want to make it quite clear that anybody in this country giving assistance to pirate stations

would be liable under the Bill. Indeed, under the general law, anybody in the United Kingdom, when the Bill becomes law, who aids, abets, counsels or procures someone to commit the offence of advertising by means of a broadcast received in this country will be liable to be prosecuted, tried and punished in the same manner as the principal offender, even though the person advertising might have been outside the United Kingdom at all the material times.

I should have thought that that made it quite clear that anybody in a subsidiary company, where there had been any kind of collusion between the subsidiary and the parent company, would be liable under the Bill.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

That was a grossly inadequate reply. The Postmaster-General went on repeating his totally perverse definition of an advertisement. The only proper distinction between an advertisement and a non-advertisement is that an advertisement is paid for. Once he goes down the slope of saying that it is something intended to benefit somebody, then almost anything can be an advertisement.

Certainly, the White Paper on the "Torrey Canyon" is an advertisement. Most White Papers put a propaganda gloss on certain matters, but they are not advertisements because they are not paid for. At least, they are not normally thought to be advertisements. It is no good glossing over the fundamental distinction which exists in the Press. The right hon. Gentleman's point about corruption was also bad, because it is met by Amendment No. 8.

It is very much to our regret that the right hon. Gentleman insists upon infringing the freedom of the Press in this way. Our primary objection to subsection (3) is embodied in Amendments No. 8 and No. 9, but we are not allowed to divide on those; and as we feel most strongly that the whole subsection is much too wide we invite hon. Members to divide the House upon this Amendment.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 175, Noes 114.

Division No. 302.] AYES [8.3 p.m.
Abse, Leo Archer, Peter Atkins Ronald (Preston, N.)
Allaun Frank (Salford, E.) Armstrong, Ernest Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)
Allen, Scholefield Ashley, Jack Bagier, Gordon A. T.
Barnett, Joel Grey, Charles (Durham) Orme, Stanley
Baxter, William Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Oswald, Thomas
Beaney, Alan Hate, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Bence, Cyril Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Padley, Walter
Blackburn, F. Hamling, William Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Boardman, H. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Booth, Albert Haseldine, Norman Park, Trevor
Boyden, James Henig, Stanley Pavitt, Laurence
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Bradley, Tom Hooley, Frank Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Pentland, Norman
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Howie, W. Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hoy, James Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Cant, R. B. Huckfield, L. Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Carmichael, Neil Hunter, Adam Price, William (Rugby)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hynd, John Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Rees, Merlyn
Coe, Denis Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Coleman, Donald Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Richard, Ivor
Concannon, J. D. Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, T. A. (Rhondda, W.) Rose, Paul
Dalyell, Tam Kenyon, Clifford Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Rowland, Christopher (Meriden)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lawson, George Sheldon, Robert
Davies, Robert (Cambridge) Leadbitter, Ted Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Delargy, Hugh Lomas, Kenneth Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Dell, Edmund Loughlin, Charles Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Dempsey, James Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Slater, Joseph
Dewar, Donald McBride, Neil Small, William
Dickens, James Mackie, John Snow, Julian
Dobson, Ray Mackintosh, John P. Spriggs, Leslie
Doig, Peter Maclennan, Robert Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Dunn, James A. McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Thornton, Ernest
Dunnett, Jack McNamara, J. Kevin Urwin, T. W.
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) MacPherson, Malcolm Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Eadie, Alex Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Watkins, David (Consett)
English, Michael Manuel, Archie Whitaker, Ben
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mapp, Charles Whitlock, William
Ensor, David Marquand, David Wilkins, W. A.
Faulds, Andrew Mendelson, J. J. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Fernyhough, E. Millan, Bruce Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Foley, Maurice Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Winterbottom, R. E.
Ford, Ben Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Forrester, John Morris, John (Aberavon) Woof, Robert
Fowler, Gerry Newens, Stan Yates, Victor
Galpern, Sir Myer Ogden, Eric Zilliacus, K.
Gourlay, Harry O'Malley, Brian
Gregory, Arnold Oram, Albert E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Ioan L. Evans and Mr. Harper.
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Iremonger, T. L.
Awdry, Daniel Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Baker, W. H. K. Digby, Simon Wingfield Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Batsford, Brian Dodds-Parker, Douglas Jopling, Michael
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Doughty, Charles Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos. & Fhm) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Kaberry, Sir Donald
Bessell, Peter Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Kimball, Marcus
Biffen, John Emery, Peter Lambton, Viscount
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Errington, Sir Eric Langford-Holt, Sir John
Braine, Bernard Eyre, Reginald Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Gibson-Watt, David Longden, Gilbert
Bryan, Paul Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Loveys, W. H.
Bullus, Sir Eric Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Lubbock, Eric
Burden, F. A. Glover, Sir Douglas McAdden, Sir Stephen
Carlisle, Mark Gower, Raymond MacArthur, Ian
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) McMaster, Stanley
Channon, H. P. G. Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Maddan, Martin
Chichester-Clark, R. Gurden, Harold Maginnis, John E.
Clegg, Walter Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh) Maude, Angus
Costain, A. P. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Crouch, David Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Crowder, F. P. Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Monro, Hector
Dalkeith, Earl of Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel More, Jasper
Dance, James Higgnis, Terence L. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Hill, J. E. B. Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Ridsdale, Julian Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Osborn, John (Hallam) Royle, Anthony Ward, Dame Irene
Page, Graham (Crosby) Russell, Sir Ronald Weatherill, Bernard
Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Sinclair, Sir George Webster, David
Peel, John Smith, John Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Percival, Ian Steel, David (Roxburgh) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Peyton, John Summers, Sir Spencer Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Pink, R. Bonner Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart) Worsley, Marcus
Pounder, Rafton Temple, John M. Wright, Esmond
Pym, Francis Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret Wylie, N. R.
Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Tilney, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas van straubenzee, W. R. Mr. Grant and Mr. Kitson.