HL Deb 21 December 1976 vol 378 cc1290-1WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they have taken and what further steps they propose to take to make known overseas the report of the Department of Employment on the most laudable British industrial relations record of the past three years; and in view of the fact that the Overseas Service of the BBC, in sharp contrast with the treatment of BBC TV, did not portray the favourable aspects of this report, whether they will see that this medium of British presentation is used more effectively.


Before the Secretary of State for Employment made his announcement on 1st December, our diplomatic missions overseas were sent a summary of the report and background for use immediately on publication. All the appropriate services of the Central Office of Information were used to ensure that overseas missions received this material in the form of items for written, television and radio use. The encouraging picture presented in the report will continue to be publicised by our missions abroad and incorporated in material provided for their use.

The BBC, who exercise editorial independence, have informed me that the BBC World Service in English, using virtually the same text as the noble Lord heard on the BBC domestic radio and TV services, broadcast the item fourteen times between 10 p.m. on 1st December and 9 a.m. on 2nd December in news bulletins, radio newsreels and extended news programmes. This dissemination by the World Service in English was reinforced by equivalent coverage provided world-wide in the thirty-eight vernacular language programmes.