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Grand National Commentary

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 2 April 1952

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the amount spent by the Post Office in installing, testing and preparing lines and apparatus in anticipation of the British Broadcasting Corporation's request for facilities for broadcasting a commentary on the Grand National Steeplechase on 5th April next.

The cost of the preliminary work at the Aintree racecourse in preparation for a broadcast is about £12, which will be paid by the B.B.C.

Is it not now perfectly clear that there are neither technical nor financial reasons for this broadcast not taking place? Will my hon. Friend therefore discuss with his noble Friend and with those responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the B.B.C. an approach to this matter from the aspect of the public interest in the hope that a satisfactory arrangement can be worked out between a willing buyer and a willing seller, as a result of which we may get the broadcast which everyone wants?

As I have explained, the Post Office have no responsibility in this matter, although, as I have said, I think everyone will regret it if the broadcast does not take place.

Is not the hon. Gentleman of the opinion that the lady who is stopping this broadcast deserves the censure of the public?

Is my hon. Friend aware that the imputation in a remark made a moment ago is entirely contrary to evidence which is readily available to the right hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) in the history of the negotiations which have gone on so far on this matter, and that it is entirely improper for him to say that sort of thing?