HC Deb 20 February 1978 vol 944 cc1005-6
31. Mr. Whitehead

asked the Lord President of the Council when he now expects sound broadcasting of the proceedings of the House to begin.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Privy Council Office (Mr. William Price)

The broadcasting authorities hope to begin regular broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings when the House reassembles after the Easter Recess.

Mr. Whitehead

Does my hon. Friend agree that it would be desirable for the Select Committee to be appointed and to hold several meetings before, not after, the broadcasts begin? When will the names of the members of the Committee appear on the Order Paper?

Mr. Price

I think that it would be right for the Committee to be appointed before broadcasting starts, but I should argue strongly that it is not necessary to have a series of meetings before it starts. We hope to announce the names shortly.

Mr. Spearing

Does my hon. Friend agree that it would be desirable that cassette recordings of the whole proceedings should be available at least to Members and that we should ask the broadcasting authorities to remind listeners at the end of a broadcast that they can obtain a record of the whole of our debates in the Official Report?

Mr. Price

I think that that is a matter which the Joint Committee may well wish to look at in the early stages.

Mr. English

Why is it a matter for the Joint Committee in this House when, as I understand, peers will be able to obtain the recordings? Does my hon. Friend wish to make his colleagues second class citizens?

Mr. Price

I should be in immediate difficulty if I tried. My hon. Friend and I have discussed this matter, and we are looking into it.