HC Deb 07 February 1973 vol 850 cc443-4
10. Mr. Dormand

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what representations he has now received regarding the implementation of any of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries on the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Sir J. Eden

I have studied many people's views, for example, those of people in the programme companies, Sir Hugh Greene, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and the hon. Member for Derby, North (Mr. Whitehead), as well as those of the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Mr. Dormand

Is the Minister aware that the Select Committee made 30 recommendations, 29 of which are overshadowed by that relating to the setting up at the earliest opportunity of a full-ranging inquiry into broadcasting after 1976? Amongst those 29 recommendations are there not some very important ones which should be considered carefully and which, if implemented, would, among other things, prevent a recurrence of the Warhol affair and of many matters which have been referred to this afternoon? Will the Minister press the Leader of the House for an urgent debate on this important matter?

Sir J. Eden

Yes, I am aware of the importance of these matters, particularly of the recommendation to which the hon. Gentleman draws attention. As regards the possibility of a debate, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would wish to await the reply by the Government to the Select Committee.

Mr. Crouch

I do not think that the House should wait so much longer. There is a growing practice for the House to ignore Select Committee reports. As a member of this Select Committee I cannot help feeling that public opinion is already beginning to form a view about the IBA, and it would have greatly helped public opinion if there had been a debate in the House about the Select Committee's report.

Sir J. Eden

The fact that it has taken a little time to bring forward the Government's reply to this report from the Select Committee is due not to the Government's ignoring it but to the depth of the consideration the Government have given it.