HC Deb 29 November 1973 vol 865 cc580-2
Q3. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Prime Minister how many radio and television broadcasts he has made during the present Session of Parliament.

The Prime Minister

Two, Sir.

Mr. Tebbit

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I would not want him to get into a position where he might be accused of emotionalism in discussing possible political bias, as seems to be the case with the Leader of the Opposition? Will he discuss with members of the staff of both the BBC and ITN the difference in the extent of the coverage of the unhappy case of Mr. Niesewand and of the equally unhappy case of Mr. Cleaver, since one seems to have been given a great deal more coverage than the other?

The Prime Minister

I have noted my hon. Friend's point. This matter is the responsibility of the Governors of the BBC.

Mr. John Morris

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider making a television broadcast to defend and explain his current policy of exporting helicopters to South Africa from the so-called closed-down Westland production line? Will he say whether he approves of the proposed increase in the number of joint exercises with the South African Navy? Will he also ask that his broadcast be relayed to the Commonwealth?

The Prime Minister

Such facilities are not required because the Government's policy on this matter has been constantly stated in the House and is well known.

Q7. Mr. Carter

asked the Prime Minister how many official broadcasts he has made in 1973.

The Prime Minister

Seventeen, Sir.

Mr. Carter

Would the right hon. Gentleman care to make one more broadcast and explain how it is that we now face a strife-torn winter over a prices and incomes policy which he said when in Opposition would come about only over his dead body?

The Prime Minister

I have not yet met any commentator, or anyone in this House, who has denied that the arrangements for stage 3 are the maximum which the economy can stand. If the hon. Gentleman is therefore suggesting that we should go wider, he can only be supporting the extension of inflation.

Mr. Tapsell

When my right hon. Friend next broadcasts to the country, will he try to explain to our people how it is that during the recent difficult days for our economy the only contribution the Opposition have been able to make is to have a well-publicised squabble within the Shadow Cabinet?

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