§ 3.6 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Belstead)
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.
§ Moved, that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Belstead.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The LORD ABERDARE in the Chair.]
§ [Amendments Nos. 63 and 64 not moved.]
§ Clause 24 agreed to.
§ Clause 25 [Training of persons employed by programme contractors]:
Lord PONSONBY of SHULBREDE moved Amendment No. 65:
Page 21, line 22, leave out from ("as") to the end of line 25 and insert ("as will enable the Authority to ensure that each programme contractor contributes to an ITV Training Scheme which will make adequate provision for training opportunities for all persons employed by them. The training to be conducted separately or jointly by the ITV contractors as considered to be appropriate and to include all grades of employment in programme production, technical services and management with equality of opportunity for entry into training available to all employees regardless of age or sex. To this end a Training Board to be set up by the Authority which will be funded by the levy of special payments by the contractors to the Authority.").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment has been tabled to improve training provision. Throughout the debate on the Committee stage there has been a recurrent theme that television will expand and that the production of programmes for showing on television will expand considerably during the next 10 years. Our main concern is to maintain a high quality of television programmes. To achieve this, properly trained staff are essential, refresher courses are essential, having all grades of employment open to women is essential. Also, as television has always been a young man's business, as these young men become older there should be opportunities, if they wish to take them, for them to be retrained into other work in television which is not perhaps so demanding of the energies and stamina of youth.1635
§ Some independent television companies have undertaken training schemes from time to time, and there is some mobility between people trained by the BBC and those who have learned their business in ITV. With the ability of ITV to pay people more and spend more money than the BBC—and this disparity is increasing rather than diminishing—there is a tendancy for those who possess some of the many skills that go to make up television production to join the BBC for initial training and then in due course to look to the richer pastures of employment in ITV. That is natural, but it should not be used as an excuse for ITV neglecting to create a comprehensive training scheme, some of which will be based on a national training school, like the National Film School, and some of which will be based on in-house training among the ITV contractors themselves.
Statistics are hard to come by, but in their place it is perhaps reasonable to quote once again the report of the Annan Commission, which represents the most thorough investigation into broadcasting ever conducted in this country. The Annan Report states that, from evidence received, BBC training schemes are numerous and varied, and there is a great deal of praise for the way in which the BBC has conducted training of broadcasters. On the other hand, the report stated:
We have received considerable criticism of the lack of training provided by the ITV contractors, and the Independent Television Contractors' Association accepted that the companies' record of training has been patchy.
We feel that a stronger obligation to remedy this needs to be placed on the ITV contractors through the authority, and that is why this amendment reintroduces the more specific aspects of the new clause originally tabled in another place, and strengthens the hand of the authority to require something more than promises of patchwork during the next licence period. I beg to move.
Earl DE LA WARR
Originally I had some very slight doubts about the need for Clause 25 because it seemed to me that there was some danger that we were making use of statute where exhortation would be quite sufficient. In spite of what the noble Lord said, I believe there is 1636 plenty of evidence that today the training done by the contractors and, where group training is necessary, by the training committee of the Independent Television Contractors' Association, is excellent. The noble Lord quoted Lord Annan. Surely it is worth while remembering that Lord Annan took great care to come to no conclusion other than the conclusion that the ITA should take power to see that training was done; and that is specifically what is said in the clause as it stands. Having considered the matter, I concluded that Clause 25 was, in effect, a clause that simply gave the authority a reserve power and required it to report; and so I came to the conclusion that I could readily go along with it.
Not so this amendment. It really is just another example of going along that slippery socialist path to authoritarianism and bureaucracy, is it not? A brand new training board is to be set up. I know the noble Lord did not refer to this, but I will refer him to the last three lines of the amendment. It is to cover all skills and not only programming. I see that the authority is enjoined to have regard even to the Sex Discrimination Act. I wonder which sex the noble Lord thinks needs protection in this industry. I know the sex that I think needs protecting, but I dare say that he and I would take a different view on that.
Why not let us leave this to management? These 13 contractors are all competent businessmen. They are running a service company; it might as well be the provision of electricity or water or transport. As competent businesses they must and do have regard for what any company has to do, which is to provide for good training. I suggest that it would be much better if we were to let the authority get on with its present job. Its job, by and large, is to advise on and ultimately to monitor the product. Do not let us get into the situation where we have to teach our grandchildren how to suck eggs and where we have to load on to the authority a job for which it was not constructed and for which, to my certain knowledge, it has no taste. So unless the noble Lord has discussed this brand new Quango with the authority and with some of the contractors and made it his business to find out what are the present shortcomings, I suggest that he should consider 1637 very carefully whether he should not withdraw his amendment.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
Is it possible that we could debate the amendment by the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, at the same time or would that not be for the convenience of the noble Baroness?
§ Baroness SEEAR
Certainly. Obviously there is an overlap between the two amendments. I was waiting to see what happened to Amendment No. 65 before deciding how I would handle Amendment No. 66. However, I think it would be very much for the convenience of the Committee if we took the two together. When it comes to voting we can consider how we will deal with the amendments.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
If this is the case, possibly the noble Lord, Lord Aylestone, who was about to speak, might like to listen first, as I would, to the noble Baroness, if she felt that she would like to speak now. Then perhaps we could take into account what the noble Baroness says before others of us speak, if that suited the noble Baroness.
§ Baroness SEEAR
I am very grateful to the Minister for making this suggestion. I think it is much the best way to handle these two very similar amendments. I had two major reasons for putting down my amendment. In dealing with the first one, which is the general case for strengthening training in the television industry, I shall be responding, if that is the right word, to the points put forward by the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr. I must say I was astonished that the noble Earl took the line that the establishment of an ITB was a socialist measure, since the ITBs were established by a Conservative Government under the Industrial Training Act 1964.
Earl DE LA WARR
Will the noble Baroness give way? What I said was socialist thinking was that we should go down the road of establishing yet another training authority, yet another piece of bureaucracy with which to load the contractors. I made no reference to the authority itself, as it is now.
§ Baroness SEEAR
I think the Committee will agree that the purpose of the Conservative Act of 1964 was inter- 1638 ventionist, to extend training within the industry, but interventionist in a way that I myself would very much approve, although it came from a Conservative Government, in that it laid the duty for extending training primarily on those conducting industry, that is, the employers and the trade unions, with collaboration from the educational authority. That was the principle of the ITB, and would indeed be the principle embodied in this clause.
In my amendment I did not go for a further ITB because I realised that the kind of intervention which has been made by the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, would be made, and that we should be distracted away from discussing the main content and the main intention into a discussion of the merits and demerits of training boards. I was particularly anxious that this should not happen, in order that we could deal with the heart of the matter, which is the need for improved training and a greater degree of training inside the television industry in general. Then there is the specific point about training in relation to women and ethnic minorities, which is the second part of what I wish to say.
The noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, has said that one could leave it to the authorities themselves to train. I believe we are at a stage in this country when we cannot safely leave training to the employers to be done without any external impetus or intervention. The latest figures show that in manufacturing industry the percentage of people being trained is falling, not going up. All the evidence shows that in the future the opportunities, and indeed the fate of the economy, depend on the provision of a sufficient number of trained people, and trained especially in the new technologies. Broadcasting covers a wide range of new technologies, and therefore it is in a quite exceptional position to provide training in that very area on which the future development of this country depends—the use of new technologies.
A good deal of training is taking place at present. However, manufacturing industry is training people for jobs which, sooner or later, will become obsolete. We need to focus training on the new and developing industries, of which broadcasting is essentially one. So, there is 1639 an interest, far beyond the interests of the broadcasting authority, in seeing that training is well done and extensively done within this industry.
With all due regard to what the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, has said, our evidence has been, over decades, that employers, left entirely to themselves, in too many cases do not provide the numbers of trained personnel that are required. The evidence today is—and I was reading yet another report on it only this morning—that the best way to deal with the skill shortage in this country is for individual employers to do more training. But the evidence also is that they are not doing it. So, I point out to the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, that all the evidence of recent history is that it is not safe just to leave it to the employers to get on with it.
As regards the attack that it requires another Quango, I must say that although I am not defending Clause 25, I do wonder when we shall stop using the term "Quango" as a term of abuse. For my part I would far rather see Quangos dealing with many of these matters than giving still more work to the depart merits of Government who are not qualified to do it—and that comment, I know, will not endear me to the Box. However, I believe that to be the case: Long live the Quangos!
That is the case for having more training and having intervention to produce training and, therefore, for having reference to training strongly underlined in the legislation. That is why I would not leave Clause 25 as it stands, but would strengthen it along the lines of my amendment rather than along the lines of the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede.
My second point has to do with the requirement to include in the annual report details about what has been done with reference to training for women and ethnic minorities. The noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, implied—if I understood his meaning aright—that the sex which needed protection in the broadcasting industry was the male sex; otherwise I can see very little point in his intervention in that regard. As a matter of fact, the Sex Discrimination Act deals equally 1640 with men and women, and if men do need protection in this regard then they would be covered by the proposed clause just as much as women would be covered. However, I do not think that the evidence is really on the side of the noble Earl, Lord Dc La Warr, and I am invited to say by the noble Baroness, Lady Lockwood, that the Equal Opportunities Commission is definitely behind Amendment No. 66.
The noble Baroness has referred me to an article based on research which I think must have been written especially with the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, in mind. It states:It is quite easy for women to get jobs in television"—that, indeed, is true. It goes on:quite easy, that is, if they want to type television letters, serve television tea, do the legwork for television research"—that might, perhaps, have been better put—or perform general handmaiden duties around television studios. It is, on the contrary, extremely hard for a woman to get a place on a technical training scheme or to rise above a certain point in the programme-making or managerial hierarchies in television.It goes on to describe in detail the findings of that investigation. In fact, the survey on which it is based—at least, I think that it is the survey on which it is based, but it may be another survey—has made the point that of 160 ACTT categories in television, 60 per cent. of women are found in three: production assistants, continuity girls, and production secretaries. The remaining 157 categories, therefore, are very poorly represented so far as the female sex is concerned.
When it comes to top management in television, despite the very distinguished chairman of the IBA, only 1.3 per cent. of top management are women. That really suggests that the Sex Discrimination Act, left to itself, is not bringing about a revolution inside the broadcasting industry or seeing that jobs are distributed on merit, regardless of sex. It is in order to ensure that that takes place that this amendment is being put forward.
I have also included in the amendment reference to ethnic minorities. I have no comparable figures for the employment of ethnic minorities in broadcasting, and it would be up to the broadcasting industry to refute the suggestion that it is 1641 highly improbable that they will be found in very large numbers in the higher categories inside broadcasting. It may even be—perhaps I may make a suggestion, which may be quite improper, as regards something which could be done in another place—that the select committee which is looking into the situation of racial minorities in this country might well inquire into what is going on inside the broadcasting industry which would provide the information, which it presently lacks, to put teeth so far as ethnic minorities are concerned into the amendment.
Why training? Am I asking for something quite new in saying that special attention should be paid to the training of women and ethnic minorities and that that should be incorporated into the annual report? In both the Race Relations Act 1976 and Section 47 of the Sex Discrimination Act it is made clear that positive discrimination in favour of underrepresented groups is permitted—it is not required, but it is permitted. They are the most constructive Acts for change, especially Section 47. It is hardly being used at all although both pieces of legislation have been on the statute book for three years. We are really saying that Section 47 should be implemented in relation to the broadcasting industry so that the great imbalance between the sexes inside the industry can be removed.
Earl DE LA WARR
Before the noble Baroness sits down I should like to raise just one question. I shall not deal with the sex discrimination side but she has made some very valuable points about the need for training in industry. Has she seen fit to have discussions with the authority to see what they think about it, with all their knowledge about what goes on as regards the affairs of the 13 contractors?
§ Baroness SEEAR
I have not had discussions with the authorities, but I have had discussions with a number of their employees.
§ Baroness TRUMPINGTON
In order to avoid any doubt may I once again declare that I have an interest in breakfast 1642 television; namely, as chairman of one of the companies. Incidentally, I should like to bear out the remarks of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, because out of the 64 directors of the eight groups who have applied for the breakfast time television only four are women.
I have listened with the greatest interest to the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, and that spoken to by the noble Baroness, Lady Seear. But, with the greatest possible respect, I cannot entirely agree with them. Their amendments would give responsibility for training to just those agencies—the ITCA contractors—who have so conspicuously failed to make adequate provision for training in the past. The ITCA contractors should certainly have a say in what kind of skills are needed and what kind of jobs should be done, but the scheme should not be administered by them.
Any would-be television contractor must declare an interest in training. No industry or profession can be without a training scheme. The consequence of not having one is to have no orderly career structure and no coherent way of ensuring a flow of competent personnel through the various jobs needed to make the industry work. Yet, in the 25 years of its existence, Independent Television has never had adequate training programmes. Cynics—or rather honest observers—could note that it never needed them because it could always poach staff from the BBC, a subject on which the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, has already touched. An industry as prosperous as Independent Television should not have to do that.
Such training schemes as do exist are not adequate. They are misrepresented by companies which administer them, and regarded with derision by those who attend them. Health and safety and catering courses are, of course, important, but do they really count as "technical training"?—except when contract renewal time comes around. Should engineering staff really have to attend evening courses in their own time and pay for them out of their own pocket in order to learn skills necessary in the jobs which they are already doing?
No one—employees or management—is happy with the present state of affairs, 1643 but there is little enthusiasm for an ITCA-sponsored and administered training centre. This wariness is understandable. A purpose-built centre would be expensive. It would duplicate facilities already available and in use at polytechnics, the National Film School, the London International Film School, the Royal College of Art and on the premises of equipment manufacturers. It would do nothing to train freelance technicians, the very people to whom the fourth channel—after all, the Bill which we are discussing is largely concerned with providing that channel with its juridical framework—will be turning for a very substantial contribution to its programming.
It seems to me regrettable that legislation should be necessary at all. No sensible person on either side of the Committee likes to see legal obligations replace self-regulation. But, if there has to be compulsion, let us make sure that the law does its job properly; that means ITCA involvement, but not ITCA administration. I believe that Clause 25 is adequate in its safeguards, particularly when one looks at the provisions contained in subsection (2), and I should therefore like to endorse Clause 25 as it stands.
§ Lord AYLESTONE
I should rather speak to Clause 25 than to the amendment, but if I refer to the contents of Clause 25 it will perhaps be better understood. Clause 25 of the Bill is quite acceptable to me and, I would hope, acceptable to the Independent Broadcasting Authority, because in the new contract period it requires to undertake, and to see that the programme contractors undertake, adequate training schemes. The noble Baroness, Lady Trumpington, who has told us of her interest, is in fact aware—as every other chairman or chairperson will be—that the IBA will be required to state quite clearly what its intentions are in the field of training with effect from the date that the new contract companies come on the air.
However, it would be quite wrong to say that nothing has been done in the field of training in programmes—that is, on the programme side in the first place—because, in fact, my noble friend on the Front Bench mentioned that something has been done. In fact, a great deal has 1644 been done. Most of it has been done by the larger contractors who have been training their own staffs. As the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, has said, it is difficult to say that companies, when choosing female employees, have been very selective as to in what area they put them. If any of them has any experience in programme control or programme production, he or she is accepted without any great difficulty at all.
But we are more concerned here with the training of them. I have said that the larger companies have already done a great deal of this training and will, of course, under this clause, be required to do considerably more. For example, Thames Television has for years been training people on the programme side. In about 1967 a fund of about £500,000 in total was set up, and has never been fully used, to do a number of things including the training of personnel in certain companies. The Thames training was part of that. In addition, they provided money for films, archives and so on, which is nothing whatever to do with this clause.
On the technical side, I am amazed to hear anyone say that nothing has been done as regards technical training—purely engineering technical training. At present, without waiting for this Bill, the Independent Broadcasting Authority at its engineering headquarters at Crawley Court near Winchester carries out a considerable amount of training. Furthermore, when a man, or a woman for that matter, reaches the stage to go from that training to become a broadcasting engineer, he or she is moved over to a course which takes place continually at the Harmon Engineering Training College, which is owned and funded by the Independent Broadcasting Authority in Seaton in South Devon. If it is necessary to move a person from that establishment, he or she is moved to the polytechnic at Newcastle. This does not involve just a few hours in the evening; this is full-time training, with accommodation and salary paid for by the IBA, to do nothing than engineering training.
Therefore, although I accept that more can be done on the programming side, it is quite wrong to say that nothing is being done on the training side. May I remind noble Lords of Oracle, which is a product of the Independent Broadcasting 1645 Authority, and Ceefax, which is a product of the BBC engineering department. So they work on in that direction as technical knowledge is improved. I would welcome Clause 25, but I believe that the two amendments are quite unnecessary in order to set up yet another body to do something that the IBA is doing and intends to do much better.
§ Baroness BIRK
I should like to think that Clause 25 as it stands would be quite adequate; in fact, that it would be unnecessary for us in this day and age again to bring into any of these clauses the amendments which refer specifically to sex, race or ethnic origins. However, unfortunately—as the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, pointed out quite clearly—it is absolutely necessary. When my noble friend Lord Aylestone referred to programme training—and I shall not comment on it because I do not know enough about what is being done at the moment—and that women should have the opportunity, if they have the experience, of programme control or programme production, he was hitting at the nub of the problem. The noble Baroness was saying that women do not have the opportunity to reach the stage when they can take further opportunities of training. I hope that the Committee will come to some agreement as to the form of the structure, but I also hope that the Committee will agree to include either the words of my noble friend on the Front Bench or the words of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, which specifically spell out this point of equality of opportunity for women as well as men and for men as well as women. The advantage of the amendment of the noble Baroness over that of my noble friend is that she includes the ethnic and race origins.
We must be realistic about this and not take it for granted that because we have passed the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act, there has, in fact, been the improvement that we should all have liked to see. We still have a long way to go and it seems a pity, when this Bill is now going through Parliament, not to use this vehicle to underline what is still necessary and on which we still have to make a great deal of progress.
§ Lord WILLIS
I should like to support the amendment moved by the noble 1646 Baroness, Lady Seear, because I think that this clause needs rather more teeth, and I speak with some practical experience. The truth is that with all the goodwill in the world, in the last 10 or 15 years in independent television and independent radio the position of women, and of what we call politely the ethnic minorities, has not really improved all that much. If you go into the BBC or the ITV companies, you will find that women are relegated—if that is the word—to the position of personal assistants and to secretaries, and their opportunities for progress and promotion are enormously limited. This is not because there is no goodwill on the part of those who run the boards. I can see noble Lords smiling and perhaps thinking that I am putting a personal or prejudiced case. I am putting this case because I believe that we must take a positive approach.
The noble Baronesses who have spoken are putting a point not on behalf of themselves but on behalf of television and the industry. If only we can have the right sort of training schemes that will give to women and to some of those in the ethnic minorities the opportunities that are now dominated by men, we shall release into television a great fount of talent and ability which is now being held back. That to me is the most important point of all.
Those who attend the board meetings of television or radio companies are nice, well-meaning people. However, they have to run a day-to-day business. At the end of the day, when they have to appoint a programme controller or executive producer, they will go to somebody within the business who has experience. That will inevitably nowadays be a man, if we have a proper training scheme and some positive monitoring of that scheme so that women and ethnic minorities have a proper opportunity, the time may well come when we shall not be operating on what I call the old boys' network—that is, that when there is a vacancy a person rings up his friend in another television company or radio company and says, "My God, we need another programme controller. Who have you got?".
If we have a proper training scheme with teeth in it, the opportunity may well arise when women and those from the ethnic minorities, who have enormous 1647 talent, flair and ability, will be able to release that talent, flair and ability at all levels into television and radio. That is why I enthusiastically support the amendment.
§ 3.43 p.m.
§ Lord ARDWICK
I am sorry that I was not present at the beginning of the debate. I give general support to the idea of stricter and wider standards in training. I started off with the idea that Clause 25 was in itself adequate. I had a slight doubt about the amendments. I thought that they tried to spell out in too much detail what should be done. That, surely, should be left to the authority. I should like to see the clause amended to take into account the phrases in the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, about sex and ethnic origin and about special stress being given to women and those from ethnic minorities having equal opportunities.
§ Lord LLOYD of HAMPSTEAD
I too must apologise for not being present at the beginning of the debate, having been detained, unfortunately, by professional obligations. It seems that however welcome Clause 25 may be, it lacks a certain amount of particularity. Therefore, I welcome the alternative amendments that have been advanced, both of which spell out the particular nature of the problem and the way in which it can be dealt with with a good deal more particularity.
Although I cannot claim to possess the particular statistics, it is fair to say that training has been a somewhat neglected area in independent television. I submit that there is a strong case for a statutory requirement for a scheme of training, otherwise there is good reason to fear that this matter will be given, as it has in the past, very low priority. The great advantage of this statutory requirement is that it will oblige the companies—the duty being imposed on the authority to ensure that there is an appropriate scheme—to take appropriate action.
It is clear from the amendment of my noble friend Lord Donaldson that there are three types of training that need to be covered. First, there is management. Secondly, there are technical services such 1648 as audio and visual engineering. Lastly, there is the area of production.
Speaking as the chairman of the National Film School, I think I can say that the school provides at least a possible resource for the third of these elements. It is now widely recognised—this is due, I venture to think, to the achievements of the film school since it was established—that film training is a professional matter. I suggest that the school can provide a powerful and informed voice on the needs in this area. The school will be most interested in giving whatever help it can to the companies, and will willingly advise them on the most effective way in which training schemes might be set up and conducted.
I suggest that both amendments are helpful because they make specific provision for the financing of any such programmes of training. Of course, finance is at the root of any kind of training. I marginally prefer the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, It has the advantage that it refers specifically to persons not actually in the employment of the companies but in prospect of employment with the contractors.
It is important that the clause should not be drawn so narrowly—this is an objection, I venture to think, to the drafting of the original clause—as to make it appear that the scheme is so narrow that training has to be given only to in-house people. I accept that that may not be its true construction and that it can properly be construed more widely. There is the problem of supporting training which is calculated to train those who have the prospect of obtaining employment within independent television. For these reasons I warmly support both or either of the two amendments, though perhaps I come down marginally in favour of the second of the two.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
Having listened to this short debate, I find myself in a great deal of agreement with what was said by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, concerning the desirability of improving training arrangements. However, I part company with the noble Lord and his noble friend Lord Donaldson, and the noble Baroness. Lady Seear, in their view that Clause 25 will not achieve the result that is desired.
1649 In essence, the noble Baroness said that we cannot afford to be inactive about training. The clause was specifically written into the Bill on Report in another place in reponse to precisely that point of view by laying a statutory responsibility for training on the television contractors and the local radio contractors. The Independent Broadcasting Authority, after all, is a regulatory body responsible for regulating the quantity and the quality of training through the contracts for which the authority is primarily responsible, whereas both these amendments appear to be laying duties upon the IBA in respect of employees for which the IBA is not directly responsible as an employer.
In contrast to the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, I feel that it is not particularity but flexibility which is needed, if one can preserve that while still achieving what I think we all desire; namely, an improvement in training in the field of broadcasting. I feel strongly that to go any further in laying down detailed guidelines about the way that training should be provided in the independent sector could undermine the flexibility that is provided by Clause 25 without necessarily improving the arrangements that are made for training.
For example, in a number of instances it may be more appropriate for the television contracting companies to take advantage of external courses. Indeed, it was the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, himself who spoke of the work which is done by the National Film School and the contribution which that school can make to training in this field. Already other bodies such as schools of journalism for instance, could also provide training which would contribute to the totality of training in broadcasting. In saying that I am not trying to assert that joint training schemes are not desirable. Indeed, I know that the Independent Television Companies Association will be arranging just this kind of co-ordination. It is only to say that these schemes are not in every case the best means to the end, about which once again I assert we all agree, that there should be proper arrangements for training in the independent sector of broadcasting.
Looking at the amendments, it is my impression that the noble Baroness's amendment goes somewhat further in 1650 making provision for the structure and the nature of training than does the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby. Here it is important to be clear about what independent television is already trying to do to promote training. First, in the current round the IBA is asking all applicants for contracts for a statement of their training plans. The IBA is making clear in the contract particulars that proper staff training arrangements are necessary with the proper financial and staff resources to match. But that is by no means the end of the story.
The training committee of the Independent Television Companies Association has recently submitted a report to the IBA, and perhaps noble Lords who have spoken will forgive me if I say that perhaps my noble friend Lord De La Warr's question about whether consultations had taken place was not an unreasonable question to ask, because I have not yet this afternoon heard any of your Lordships mentioning this particular report which has come from ITCA. The ITCA training committee concluded—and this is in a report which has gone through the ITCA's council to the Independent Broadcasting Authority—that because of the federal nature of independent television, consisting of 15 companies with many individual operating practices, much training must of necessity be on an in-house basis. Bearing that in mind, one of the first things which the training committee of ITCA has set itself to do is to try to reach agreement with the unions, to which the noble Baroness's amendment specifically refers. I should like to report to the Committee that agreement has recently been reached between ITCA, the Industrial Relations Secretariat, the Electrical Trade Union and the National Association of Theatrical, Television and Kine Employees about apprenticeship schemes. Talks are continuing with other unions.
The ITCA training committee next turned its attention—and this is a point which the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, particularly made in his speech and to which of course both amendments are directed—to the case for central training in addition to in-house training. The committee has considered the possibility of the independent television industry setting up its own training establishment. 1651 Although it is true that no decision has yet been taken about this, the ITCA committee I know is continuing to assess how the needs of the industry can be met by what is now available both as regards in-house training and external training.
Thirdly, I understand that the ITCA training committee has appointed a training adviser on 29th September—a lady, I am delighted to report to the Committee—who will have overall responsibility for advising the ITCA committee on the ways in which training within the industry may usefully be co-ordinated. A particularly important function will be to advise individual companies on training matters, and to help assess and suggest solutions. In case your Lordships may wonder why I have gone into quite so much detail about what a non-government body (the ITCA committee) is doing, may I say that I take these amendments just as seriously as noble Lords and the noble Baroness who have moved them and I thought it was right that the Government should look at some of the small print as to what the ITCA committee is doing.
May I move to one further point before I finish. I am not for one moment trying to suggest that these amendments are amendments which should not commend themselves to the Committee on a technical point, but I must remind the Committee that—I am sure by an oversight—the amendment proposed by the noble Lord is silent about the need for training in independent local radio. Also, I am sure by an oversight, the noble Baroness's amendment positively removes the requirement by ripping out Clause 25 and putting in the new clause instead. As noble Lords will be aware, the independent local radio network, which is expanding quickly at the moment, is arguably perhaps in more need of training than the television world, because you have more new staff coming from a lot of different sources into the local radio world.
I should just like to remind the Committee that the IBA news release of 30th September included information about the allocating of part of what is known as the secondary rental for last year to postgraduate bursaries at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies and the founding 1652 of a new radio lectureship at the School of Journalism Studies at the University College, Cardiff. Clause 25 at present applies to independent local radio, and I am sure that whatever we have in the Bill it should continue to do so.
Quite apart from the omission of independent local radio I want to express the hope that your Lordships would perhaps think again before voting on these amendments, for one simple reason: the Independent Television Companies Association training adviser has, as I have said to the Committee, literally only just been appointed, on 29th September. The requirements of the fourth channel are still not passed into law. Provided the progress which has been going on in recent months is maintained—and clearly the IBA and the companies are agreed that it should—it will become possible in the near future for the ITCA to develop further their training plans. Incidentally, if they did not do so there are those reserve powers in Clause 25 for the regulating body, the IBA. Do not let us superimpose on to that process a layer of rules, beaurocracy and further expense which these amendments, desirable though they are in many cases, would undoubtedly require.
§ Lord PONSONBY of SHULBREDE
May I thank the Minister for his very encouraging response to the debate. On the whole, I still feel that the establishment of a training board would be the most effective way of ensuring that adequate and effective training takes place. For my part, I shall read his reply with great interest and decide whether I wish to proceed with my amendment further at Report stage. If, however, the noble Baroness should decide to press on with her amendment this afternoon, I would certainly support her.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Baroness SEEAR moved Amendment No. 66:
Leave out Clause 25 and insert the following new clause:—
§ "(Training scheme
§ .—(1) In accordance with the general powers of the Authority in the Main Act and in the particular section 3(1)(b) it shall be the duty of the Authority from the commencement of the next period of contract to set up or require to be set up by the ITV contractors a permanent and satisfactory training scheme 1653 covering all production and technical grades in television which will be open without discrimination on account of race, sex or ethnic origin to all selected persons in the employment or in prospect of employment by the ITV contractors.
§ (2) The training scheme referred to in subsection (1) above shall be administered and conducted on a permanent basis and contributed to financially with regard to personnel to be trained by each and every ITV contractor as is considered to be appropriate by the Authority; and shall be of a standard approved by the trade unions and professional organisations representative of persons employed in ITV and in particular those of writers, technicians, producers, directors and journalists.
§ (3) A report on the nature and progress of the training scheme shall be included in each annual report submitted to Parliament by the Authority; and the report shall include the1654
§ numbers employed in each area classified by race, sex and ethnic origin.").
§ The noble Baroness said: I should like to thank the noble Minister for his very detailed reply. I accept the point about independent local broadcasting. This is a matter that could be put right on Report. The noble Minister is persuasive, but I am not persuaded. I will therefore divide the Committee.
§ 4 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 66) shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 65; Not-Contents, 98.1655
|Airedale, L.||Hampton, L.||Seear, B. [Teller.]|
|Amulree, L.||Hanworth, V.||Segal, L.|
|Ardwick, L.||Hatch of Lusby, L.||Sempill, Ly.|
|Avebury, L.||Henderson, L.||Shepherd, L.|
|Banks, L.||Houghton of Sowerby, L.||Shinwell, L.|
|Beswick, L.||Jacques, L.||Simon, V.|
|Birk, B. [Teller.]||Janner, L.||Southwell, Bp.|
|Blyton, L.||Jeger, B.||Stedman, B.|
|Boston of Faversham, L.||Kilmarnock, L.||Stewart of Alvechurch, B.|
|Brockway, L.||Kirkhill, L.||Stewart of Fulham, L.|
|Bruce of Donington, L.||Leatherland, L.||Stone, L.|
|Byers, L.||Listowel, E.||Strauss, L.|
|Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.||Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B.||Taylor of Mansfield, L.|
|Collison, L.||Lloyd of Hampstead, L.||Underhill, L.|
|Cooper of Stockton Heath, L.||Lloyd of Kilgerran, L.||Vickers, B.|
|Davies of Penrhys, L.||Lovell-Davis, L.||Wallace of Coslany, L.|
|Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.||Mais, L.||Whaddon, L.|
|Fisher of Rednal, B.||Pargiter, L.||White, B.|
|Gaitskell, B.||Peart, L.||Wigoder, L.|
|Gladwyn, L.||Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.||Willis, L.|
|Granville of Eye, L.||Reilly, L.||Wilson of Radcliffe, L.|
|Hale, L.||Sainsbury, L.|
|Alexander of Tunis, E.||De La Warr, E.||Hayter, L.|
|Allen of Abbeydale, L.||Denham, L. [Teller.]||Henley, L.|
|Alport, L.||Derwent, L.||Holderness, L.|
|Ampthill, L.||Donegall, M.||Hylton-Foster, B.|
|Auckland, L.||Drumalbyn, L.||Ilchester, E.|
|Avon, E.||Dudley, B.||Inchyra, L.|
|Aylestone, L.||Duncan-Sandys, L.||Jeffreys, L.|
|Barnby, L.||Effingham, E.||Kinloss, Ly.|
|Belstead, L.||Ellenborough, L.||Kinnoull, E.|
|Bernstein, L.||Elliot of Harwood, B.||Lauderdale, E.|
|Boardman, L.||Elton, L.||Long, V.|
|Boyd of Merton, V.||Evans of Hungershall, L.||Loudoun, C.|
|Bradford, E.||Exeter, M.||Luke, L.|
|Caccia, L.||Ferrers, E.||Lyell, L.|
|Campbell of Croy, L.||Fraser of Kilmorack, L.||McAlpine of Moffat, L.|
|Cathcart, E.||Gainford, L.||Mackay of Clashfern, L.|
|Chelwood, L.||Gore-Booth, L.||Macleod of Borve, B.|
|Clancarty, E.||Gormanston, V.||Mancroft, L.|
|Clwyd, L.||Gowrie, E.||Mansfield, E.|
|Cockfield, L.||Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Marley, L.|
|Cork and Orrery, E.||Morris, L.|
|Cottesloe, L.||Halsbury, E.||Mowbray and Stourton, L.|
|Cullen of Ashbourne, L.||Hawke, L.||Murton of Lindisfarne, L.|
|Netherthorpe, L.||Romney, E.||Strathcona and Mount Roval, L.|
|Northchurch, B.||St. Davids, V.||Sudeley, L.|
|Nugent of Guildford, L.||Sandford, L.||Swinfen, L.|
|Nunburnholme, L.||Sandys, L. [Teller.]||Trefgarne, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Seafield, E.||Trumpington, B.|
|Orkney, E.||Soames, L. (L. President.)||Vaux of Harrowden, L.|
|Orr-Ewing, L.||Spens, L.||Vernon, L.|
|Porritt, L.||Strabolgi, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Reigate, L.||Strathcarron, L.||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
|Richardson, L.||Strathclyde, L.||Windlesham, L.|
On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Clause 25 agreed to.
§ Clauses 26 and 27 agreed to.
§ Clause 28 [Pensions etc. of members of Authority]:
§ 4.10 p.m.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE moved Amendment No. 67:
Page 22, line 21, at end insert—
("( ) For the purposes of "relevant expenditure" under paragraph 2(5) of Schedule 1 of the main Act the Authority shall disallow programme costs incurred in the broadcasting of sporting and other public events when such expenditure represents the costs of acquisition of rights to so broadcast these events or the cost of presenting a broadcast of an event simultaneously broadcast by the BBC.").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment was prompted by an intervention by the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, over the proposed culling by the BBC of the Scottish Orchestra, a subject which we discussed in April of this year. He asked at the time for the rationalisation of the showing of sporting activities, something which my noble friends certainly support, and he wanted to table an amendment along those lines but he is unfortunately ill. So we have tabled this amendment, whch I do not think would be entirely satisfactory even if it were agreed to, because it places the whole onus on the IBA, whereas obviously the onus regarding not squabbling about sporting activities is just as much on the BBC as on the IBA; but we did not see how we could put the duty on the BBC in this Bill.
§ We want to have a general discussion and I want to know whether other noble Lords agree with the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, that there is a certain amount of waste not by carefully alternating the showing of sporting events by the BBC 1656 and IBA and, by a certain amount of bidding between the two, sometimes by both being shown together at perhaps the same or equally valuable times. It seems there is a point of substance here. I am not happy that my amendment meets it, but I am anxious to ensure that the point is discussed. There is no doubt that the authority has over the years taken the initiative in suggesting to the BBC that it is wasteful of resources for there to be duplication in the showing of sporting events and that both parties could perfectly well discharge their duties to the public by agreeing to some form of alternation. I do not think there has been much progress in this context. In a sense the BBC were there first, so any change tends to mean the BBC giving up something which they need not necessarily do, and therefore this is not an easy problem. However, it is a real problem, and this is a probing amendment in order at least to see what the Government think, and if any other Members of the Committee have comments to make on it I shall be pleased to hear them. I beg to move.
The noble Lord, Lord Donaldson, has posed a very difficult problem indeed, because in his amendment he refers tothe purposes of 'relevant expenditure' under paragraph 2(5) of Schedule I of the main Act".Having looked at the main Act, I find there are only three sub-paragraphs to paragraph (2) and try as I might, I cannot find the relevant provision there referred to. If the noble Lord could help me, it would aid my understanding enormously.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE
My face should be red if it is my mistake. I do not have the main Act with me—it is in my office—but I will look at it and try to explain. I do not think that alters the obvious intention of the amendment, which is that if the IBA or a contracting company bids against the BBC in order to do the same 1657 as the BBC is doing, that would not be relevant expenditure in assessing the levy. That is the intention, and if there is a technical mistake, I apologise.
§ Lord AYLESTONE
If the objective of my noble friend is to continue with what the IBA has been trying to do for many years—namely, to reach what is known as the alternation of programmes—then the amendment would not achieve that objective. The IBA has always favoured alternation, by which I mean this year perhaps the Grand National for the BBC, next year for the IBA, this year The Derby for the BBC, next year for the IBA, but certainly not both of them broadcasting the same event at the same time. There are exceptions where it is required, even by Government, to do it; I have forgotten the instruction of a long time ago governing that.
However, I am more concerned about the amendment, because under it if, for example, the BBC should offer the Lawn Tennis Association £½ million to broadcast the whole of Wimbledon fortnight, that would be regarded as a legitimate cost of their programming. But if the IBA were to do that and pay that same £½ million, quite separately from the BBC and on a separate date, and broadcast that solely without the BBC broadcasting it, it would not be considered under the amendment a legitimate programme cost. It would therefore be added to their below the line costs, which means they would not get levy relief on that cost. It would therefore impose on the IBA a charge that is not imposed in any way on the BBC, and would be quite unfair. If the idea of the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, is to reach alternation—this is the position so far as my memory serves, and I do not think there has been any change—then one is knocking at an open door if one is trying to persuade the IBA to alternate with the BBC on major programmes.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
The drafting of the amendment is defective, but I do not think that need detain us. The noble Lord, Lord Donaldson, said his primary purpose was to probe, and perhaps the best contribution I can make to the discussion is to say that the Home Secretary under Section 23 of the 1973 Act has power to make regulations to prevent the making of exclusive arrangements for the broad- 1658 casting of sporting or other events of national interest. While no regulations have ever been made under that section, its existence indicates the concern which was felt by Parliament when the 1973 Act was going through about the making of exclusive arrangements. That section would be incompatible in principle with the amendment, essentially for the reason given by the noble Lord, Lord Aylestone.
As I understand it, in effect, the amendment would penalise financially by increasing its levy liability any programme contractor which broadcast a sporting or other public event which was simultaneously broadcast by the BBC. On the other hand, the BBC could with impunity cover an event also featured on Independent Television or radio even where an independent contractor had been the first in the field with arrangements to cover it, and I do not think that can be fair.
I do not like to ask for trouble by revealing to any of your Lordships who may temporarily have forgotten it that Section 23 of the 1973 Act exists, because the obvious question is: why do Governments not get on with making some regulations under it? I shall not carry my argument any further forward except to say that the previous Government took quite a strong view about Government becoming involved in programme content in this sort of way. I am therefore listening carefully to what is being said in this debate but of one thing I am certain, and that is—if the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson will forgive me—that this amendment will not do.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE
I am grateful to the Minister and other noble Lords who have spoken on this subject. I said in my opening remarks that it dealt with one side of the problem only and therefore might not be satisfactory, and I certainly have no intention of pressing it. I wanted above all to show that there was in the intervention of the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, a real point which had not been met by the negotiations of the IBA and BBC. I shall not judge between them. My noble friend Lord Aylestone makes the strong suggestion that the IBA door is wide open for discussion of this kind. I hope the BBC will note that, if anybody there reads the Official Report of this Committee 1659 stage, but in any case I hope that perhaps the noble Lord will look at this point later and see whether some encouragement could be given to it. With those few words I am happy to beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 28 agreed to.
§ [Amendment No. 68 not moved.]
§ Clause 29 [Computation of profits of programme contractors]:
§ 4.20 p.m.
Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE moved Amendment No. 69:
Page 22, line 27, at beginning insert—
("In main Schedule 2 after paragraph 4 there shall be inserted the following paragraph—
4A. No advertisements may be transmitted during such times as are designated as Childrens' Viewing Time by the Authority."").
§ The noble Lord said: This, too, is purely a probing amendment. It seems to me a mistake to advertise children's toys during a programme for the entertainment or instruction of children. I do not think that there is a fundamental principle involved here, but certainly so far as my 11 grandchildren are concerned, I should far prefer them to look at the "telly" for their entertainment and not in order to get ideas as to how they can spend their parents' money. As I say, I do not think that this involves a matter of principle, but I think that it a question that needs airing, and I am trying to air it.
§ It seems to me that however one may accept the principle of breaking into programmes with advertisements—a principle that I find very tiresome—it is quite unnecessary that this should be done during the actual showing of children programmes, and I want to know what the noble Lord and other Members of the Committee feel about it. As I say, this is not a matter of principle, but a matter that needs discussion. I beg to move.
§ Lord STRABOLGI
I have listened to what my noble friend Lord Donaldson 1660 of Kingsbridge has said, but I hope that the Committee will not accept this amendment. I must declare an interest here, as I work as an adviser to a public relations company which is part of an advertising group. On the other hand, I am speaking entirely for myself: no one has asked me to speak. Audience research shows that only just over 29 per cent. of the total viewing of four to nine year-olds and just over 23 per cent. of viewing by 10 to 15 year-olds takes place during the period 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Indeed audience research also shows that other programmes, in particular those between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., or later, attract much larger child audiences. If what my noble friend believes is true, then he would have to forbid children from viewing at any time, or alternatively to stop all TV advertising in case it is seen by a child.
The Advertising Standards Authority has a Code of Advertising Practice which lays down that no advertisement may take advantage of children's natural credulity and loyalty, nor should it urge children to buy, nor ask their parents to buy. There are of course many other rules along the same lines. The IBA also has a rule that does not allow any children's programme of up to 30 minutes to be interrupted for advertising.
It is true of course that children are dependent on their parents to supply their needs, and of course they make many demands on them. This is surely a part of the process of growing up. Research carried out by the Children's Research Unit shows that children's demands may be stimulated by many sources, but the greatest influence is probably that of other children from the same age group. Indeed, advertising is only one of a number of sources of information. There are many others, such as children's comics and shop displays.
I submit that it is surely better for children to be exposed to advertising and to learn how to distinguish between the messages whilst they have only pocket money to spend and are still under the control of their parents, than to be suddenly confronted with it, in all innocence, at a later age. Without having something to judge, it is difficult to see how the faculty for judgment can develop. Indeed, television commercials are regarded by many parents as a valuable way of 1661 teaching children consumer skills, and how to manage their own pocket money. Research shows that, in general, parents consider that the entertainment and information value of TV commercials far outweigh any potential harmful effects.
On the practical side there is the question of how the children's programmes are to be financed without advertising revenue. Children's time, on the whole, is cheaper, as there are of course fewer viewers. Many commercials are aimed at mothers who will be watching at the same time; for example, commercials for breakfast cereals. If there is to be no advertising on children's programmes, then advertisers will be driven to compete for other slots at higher cost. That will of course drive up the price of the product. My noble friend Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge mentioned toy manufacturers. It will be particularly difficult for toy manufacturers, who are having a hard time at present with the recession, and there are already heavy redundancies in the toy industry.
There is no evidence that advertising between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. detracts from children's enjoyment of programmes at this time; nor that it is harmful to them. All in all, this amendment is of course well meaning, but it is not necessary from the child's point of view, and from the economic standpoint it will be positively damaging to ITV, and indirectly to British industry. I hope that the Committee will not accept it.
§ Lord SOMERS
I feel very much inclined to support what was said by the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson of Kings-bridge, although of course I accept to a degree the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi. However, I think it most important that any advertisements during children's programmes should exclude advertisements for tobacco and alcoholic drinks—
§ Lord SOMERS
Well, if that is the case, I need not make that point. However, I am not altogether sure about the question of the advertising of toys. Looking back on my own childhood I can only think that such advertising would 1662 have made me very conscious of all the toys that I should have liked to have but could not have. I am not sure that that is a very good thing in terms of satisfaction of children, but that is purely a personal opinion, and I may be wrong there.
I feel that the interruption of other programmes by advertisements is a matter that should be very carefully watched. For one thing I am not sure that it does the advertisers any good at all. If, for instance, I were listening to a concert, and during the interval there were a whole lot of advertisements, I should want to go out of the room and not look at the advertisements. I am not altogether sure how far television advertising really does benefit the advertisers; that I am not prepared to say. But I think it important that the programmes should not be interrupted too much.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
In considering the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge, I think that it is right to bear in mind that, in carrying out its functions, the Independent Broadcasting Authority is advised by a statutory advertising advisory committee, on which medical experts and consumers are strongly represented.
Advertising and children was of course one of the subjects which engaged the Annan Committee's attention, and that committee made a recommendation which closely resembles the present amendment but which is not nearly so attractive as the present amendment, because the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson, is much more flexible in its effect. What Annan in effect said was that there should be no advertising within children's programmes, or between two programmes for children, and that the authority should ensure that advertisements promoting products or services of a particular interest to children should not be shown before 9 o'clock in the evening.
The noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, reminded us in his speech that if one started setting a line where advertising could not take place during the evening one would probably be labouring under a misapprehension that there would be no children watching, for a start, and, secondly, one would be reducing the amount of advertising time. If I may 1663 say so, I think that the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson, is very much more attractive in its effect than what Annan recommended, because it is more flexible. I also suspect that the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson, framed the amendment in the way that he did because the noble Lord's grandchildren must be so young that there would be no question of their staying up until 9 o'clock at night.
The Annan Committee's recommendation was considered by the last Government in their White Paper on Broadcasting, and the previous Government were not persuaded of the need for such a restriction, which would be bound, I think they felt, to be arbitrary; and they considered that it would be best left to the discretion of the IBA. I am bound to say that the present Government agree with the previous Administration, and for that reason we would not want to suport the amendment; but that is not to say that the Government are not sympathetic to the sentiment which lies behind this amendment. We share the concern that children should be protected so far as possible from harmful influences, though that does not necessarily mean that children should not be exposed to any advertising. But in our view there are enough powers at the disposal of the Independent Broadcasting Authority to ensure that there is sufficient control in the advertising field.
I was particularly interested to be provided by my right honourable friend's department with the IBA's Code of Advertising Standards of Practice. In Appendix I, which is called "Advertising and Children", I note that among a whole list of things which advertisements may not do so far as children are concerned there is one rule which meets exactly the point which was made by the noble Lord, Lord Somers. The IBA's Code or Advertising says:No advertisement is allowed which leads children to believe that if they do not own the product advertised they will be inferior in some way to other children or that they are liable to be held in contempt or ridicule for not owning it".There is one other point which occurs to me on this, if I may, and that is this. In all seriousness, whatever one may think of advertising it does sometimes provide a break in programme content, and in 1664 days some time past, when I used to try to teach children who were of a fairly young age, I was always told by those who were more experienced than I was in teaching that no child or pupil at school would listen for longer than a period of 20 minutes. Whether it was that they would not listen to anything which was delivered for longer than 20 minutes or whether it was that they would not listen to me for longer than 20 minutes, nobody ever vouchsafed: but there is in all seriousness something to be said for having advertising during a period of children's programmes providing the regulating authority has really taken to heart the rules which must be conformed with so far as those advertisements are concerned. It is on those grounds that I would prefer to see the arrangements left as they are, and therefore for the noble Lord perhaps not to press this amendment.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE
I am not going to press the amendment, but there are one or two failures of argument which I think should be pointed out. In the first place, it is certainly desirable in presenting anything to children that they should have breaks, but those breaks do not have to be advertising breaks; so that argument seems to me to be of no interest whatever. Secondly, my noble friend behind me, Lord Strabolgi, said that it is frightfully important that children should learn to resist advertising by seeing it occasionally, and at the same time he said that there was no point in my amendment because they would see it at other times; so that seemed to contradict itself.
§ Lord STRABOLGI
I must interrupt my noble friend. I am sorry I have to do so because he did not interrupt me. I never said they had to learn to resist advertising: I said they had to learn how to make judgments.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGS-BRIDGE
The argument remains exactly the same. I am not going to press this amendment. I did not refer to the fact that the previous Government, my Government, had decided not to do this. I did of course know it, and decided to raise the matter again in spite of it, with nobody objecting, because I think it needed to be discussed further. But having said that, 1665 I am happy to withdraw the amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 29 agreed to.
§ Clause 30 [Interpretation, etc.]:
Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 70:
Page 23, line 17, leave out ("means") and insert ("and" the IBA "mean").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment is consequential on Amendment No. 2, which was the first amendment I moved in dealing with the amendments on Welsh broadcasting. I beg to move.
§ Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 71:
Page 23, line 22, at end insert—
("for reception in Wales "means for reception wholly or mainly in Wales;").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment, too, is consequential on Amendment No. 2. I beg to move.
§ Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 72:
Page 23, line 32, at end insert—
(" "the Welsh Authority" means the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority;").
§ The noble Lord said: This, too, is consequential, and goes with the two previous amendments consequential on Amendment No. 2. I beg to move.
§ Clause 30, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining clause agreed to.
Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 73:
Before Schedule 1, insert the following new Schedule:
§ PROVISIONS AS TO THE WELSH FOURTH CHANNEL AUTHORITY
§ Appointment and removal of members
§ 1. Paragraph 1(5) to (7) of main Schedule I shall apply in relation to the Chairman and other members of the Welsh Authority as it applies in relation to members of the IBA.1666
§ Remuneration of members
§ 2. Paragraph 2 of main Schedule 1 shall apply in relation to the Chairman and other members of the Welsh Authority as it applies in relation to the Chairman and other members of the IBA, but with the omission of the reference to the Deputy Chairman in paragraph 2(1).
§ Incorporation and capacity of Welsh Authority
§ 3. Paragraph 3 of main Schedule 1 shall apply to the Welsh Authority as it applies to the IBA, the reference in paragraph 3(3) to the main Act being read for this purpose as a reference to this Act.
§ Quorum of Welsh Authority
§ 4. The quorum of the Welsh Authority shall be two or such number not less than two as that Authority may from time to time determine.
§ Duty of members to disclose interest in contracts
§ 5. Paragraph 5 of main Schedule 1 shall apply in relation to the Welsh Authority as it applies in relation to the IBA.
§ Power of Welsh Authority to regulate own procedure
§ 6. Subject to paragraph 4 above and to paragraph 5 of main Schedule 1 as applied by paragraph 5 above, the Welsh Authority may regulate their own procedure.
§ Officers and employees of Welsh Authority
§ 7. Paragraph 7 of main Schedule 1 shall apply in relation to the Welsh Authority as it applies in relation to the IBA.
§ Machinery for settling terms and conditions of employment of Welsh Authority's staff, etc.
§ 8. Subsections (1) and (2) of main section 32 shall apply in relation to the Welsh Authority as they apply in relation to the IBA.
§ Authentication of Welsh Authority's seal, and presumption of authenticity of documents issued by them
§ 9. Paragraphs 8 and 9 of main Schedule 1 shall apply in relation to the Welsh Authority as they apply in relation to the IBA, but with the omission of the reference to the Deputy Chairman in paragraph 8(a).
§ Disqualification of members of Welsh Authority for House of Commons
10. In Part II of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (bodies of which all members are disqualified under that Act) there shall be inserted at the appropriate place in alphabetical order—
The Welsh Fourth Channel Authority." ").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment is consequential on Amendment No. 2. I beg to move.
§ Lord CLEDWYN of PENRHOS
I should not like the opportunity to pass without thanking the noble Lord for tabling this amendment and the previous ones which he moved formally in furtherance of the Government's undertaking 1667 to implement their pledge about the fourth channel in Wales. I do not want to ask any questions of detail about the schedule, which I understand is acceptable in all the proper quarters in Wales. There may, however, be one point which is of interest to the Committee at this time: namely, that a meeting was called in Cardiff about 10 days ago of all those interested in broadcasting, employed by the BBC in Wales and by HTV. As a result of that meeting, an Association of Welsh Broadcasters was established on 7th October. These are people of very considerable experience in broadcasting in Wales, and they represented not only those who were in favour of the fourth channel proposal but also those who are critical of it. The upshot of the meeting and the establishment of the association was that they showed a unanimous determination to make the fourth channel in Wales a great success. I think this is something the Government and the Committee will be glad to hear, and will welcome.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
Indeed, speaking on behalf of the Government, I am grateful to the noble Lord for the information he has given to the Committee, and I welcome the words of the noble Lord.
§ 4.40 p.m.
Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 74:
Before Schedule 1, insert the following new Schedule—
§ MODIFICATIONS OF MAIN ACT ETC. IN RELATION TO THE FOURTH CHANNEL IN WALES
§ Main section 2
§ 1.—(1) So much of main section 2(1) as relates to the quality of the matter transmitted shall not apply.
§ (2) Main section 2(2) shall not apply.
§ Main section 4
§ 1.—(1) So much of main section 2(1) as relates to the quality of the matter transmitted shall not apply.
§ (2) Main section 2(2) shall not apply.
§ 2.—(1) References in main section 4 to programmes broadcast by the Authority shall be read as references to programmes provided by the Welsh Authority for broadcasting on the Fourth Channel in Wales.
§ (2) In main section 4(1)—
- (a) the first reference to the Authority shall be read as a reference to the Welsh Authority; and
- (b) so much of paragraph (d) as relates to cases where another language as well as English is in common use among persons served by the station or stations in question shall not apply.
§ (3) In main section 4(2), as substituted by section 21—
- (a) the first reference to the Authority shall be read as a reference to the Welsh Authority; and
- (b) after "opinion" insert "by the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority or the British Broadcasting Corporation, or".
§ (4) In main section 4(3), the first reference to the Authority shall be read as a reference to the Welsh Authority.
§ (5) In main section 4(4), omit "whether in an advertisement or not".
§ (6) In main section 4(5), the first reference to the Authority shall be read as a reference to the Welsh Authority, and in paragraph (b) "whether in an advertisement or not" shall be omitted.
§ (7) In main section 4(6)
- (a) for the words from "including (advertisements) broadcast by them the Authority substitute" provided by them the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority"; and
- (b) the subsequent reference to the Authority shall be read as a reference to the Welsh Authority.
§ Main sections 5 and 7
§ 3. In main sections 5 and 7—
- (a) references to programmes broadcast by the Authority shall be read as provided in paragraph 2(1); and
- (b) other references to the Authority shall be read as references to the Welsh Authority.
§ Main section 33
§ 4. In Main section 33—
- (a) references to programmes broadcast by the Authority shall be read as provided in paragraph 2(1);
- (b) other references to the Authority shall be read as references to the Welsh Authority; and
- (c) "(including advertisements)" shall be omitted in both places where it occurs.
- (a) for "the exclusion from programmes broadcast by the said Authority of the opinions of the Authority "substitute" the exclusion from programmes provided by the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority of the opinions of that Authority, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Independent Broadcasting Authority"; and
- (b) for "a programme broadcast by the said Authority" substitute "a programme provided by the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority".").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment is consequential upon Amendment No. 2. I beg to move.
§ Schedules 1 to 3 agreed to.
§ Schedule 4 [Transitional provisions]:
Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 75:
Page 30, line 9, leave out ("a period of eight years") and insert ("the relevant maximum period").
§ The noble Lord said: This amendment is consequential upon Amendment No. 52 to which your Lordships have already agreed. I beg to move.
§ Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendment No. 76:
Page 30, line 11, at end insert—
("4. In relation to contracts for the provision of teletext transmissions for a period beginning on or before 1st January 1982—
§ The noble Lord said: This is consequential upon Amendment No. 60, to which your Lordships have already agreed. I beg to move.
§ Schedule 4, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining schedule agreed to.
Lord BELSTEAD moved Amendments Nos. 77 and 78:
In the Title:
Line 5, after ("Authority;") insert ("to make provision as to the arrangements for the broadcasting of television programmes for reception in Wales, with power to make different provision as to those arrangements by order;").
Line 6, leave out from ("Commission") to ("and") in line 9.
§ The noble Lord said: With the permission of the Committee, I should like to move these two amendments en bloc. These two amendments to the Long Title of the Bill are consequential upon the changes and the provision made by the 1670 Bill for Welsh language broadcasting. They are therefore consequential also upon Amendment No. 2. I beg to move.
§ House resumed: Bill reported with the amendments.