§ 29. Mr. Wigley
asked the Lord President of the Council what proposals he 29 has to ensure equity between the two sides in the referendums on devolution in respect of expenditure and broadcasting time.
§ Mr. John Smith
The Government have no proposals for controlling expenditure by campaigning organisations during the referendum campaigns. It is the responsibility of the broadcasting authorities to maintain balance and impartiality in their treatment of this subject.
§ Mr. Wigley
Does not the Minister realise that this is a very contentious issue and that there are people in Wales who are extremely worried that the result of the referendum will be bought by Confederation of British Industry money from England? Does he not realise that the control of both the broadcasting media and the vast majority of the Press in Wales emanates from London, which has a vested interest in the result which will be obtained? In those circumstances, will the Government think seriously about having a fair referendum?
§ Mr. Anderson
My hon. Friend will recall that during the Common Market referendum there was criticism that there was a pamphlet by the pros and a pamphlet by the antis and that the Government published a third pamphlet. Will he indicate what is the proposal on this occasion and whether the Government will publish a pamphlet in addition to any pamphlets which are circulated on behalf of the two front organisations?
§ Mr. Smith
The Government have not reached conclusions on these matters and will prefer to see how the Bill develops and how the proposals progress in the House. I re-emphasise the point I made in replying to my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) that the Government will actively campaign for the proposals which they put to the House.