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Overseas Broadcasts

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 27 April 1949

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asked the Postmaster-General if, before sending out broadcasts to foreign countries, Dominions or British dependencies, the British Broadcasting Corporation arrange in each case to have the broadcast relayed where it is possible to do so in these territories so that persons without long distance receiving sets can hear them; and if, in the case of dependencies, the broadcasts are relayed by loud speakers in public places so as to reach the majority of people who have not receiving sets.

The B.B.C. has no control over broadcasting organisations overseas, but the Corporation arranges whenever possible for its programmes to be rebroadcast by stations overseas, and also supplies them with recorded programmes through the Transcription Service. I understand that listening to public address systems or community wireless receivers takes place in many dependencies and is being extended.

Does my right hon. Friend think that British taxpayers should be called upon to pay for an unessential service, particularly in Dominions and dependencies which already have their own broadcasting service, and will he say why this duplication is necessary?

Will the Postmaster-General take every step he can to ensure that broadcasting to foreign nationals is of a character less Left-wing than it is at present?