HC Deb 08 November 1972 vol 845 cc989-90
18. Mr. Fowler

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications whether he will seek powers to amend the system of control of advertisements administered by the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Sir J. Eden

No, Sir.

Mr. Fowler

May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the action of the Independent Broadcasting Authority in refusing to accept an advertisement from the News of the World advertising a valuable series on industrial action in Britain? Can the right hon. Gentleman explain the logic of a system which prevents a newspaper advertising a series of articles of crucial national interest, which deserve a very wide audience?

Sir J. Eden

As I am sure my hon. Friend fully recognises, it must be for the authority to interpret the provisions of the Television Act, 1964. In the view of the authority, the advertisement concerned would contravene Section 3(1)(e) of that Act. This must be a matter for the judgment of the authority.

Mr. J. T. Price

Will the right hon. Gentleman do his utmost to discourage those hon. Members on his side of the House who go out of their way to foul industrial relations when many of us on this side are doing our best to improve them? Does he not agree that to bring this question to the House in the context of the present difficultes of this country is far from helpful? May I urge the right hon. Gentleman to use any influence that he may have to discourage those who cannot resist the temptation constantly to stir the pot and make these controversial issues even worse?

Sir J. Eden

My hon. Friends need no encouragement in that respect from the hon. Gentleman. After all, it was my hon. Friends who assisted the present Government to place the Industrial Relations Act on the Statute Book.