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Bbc Charter

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1952

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what is causing the delay in arriving at a decision in respect of a new agreement or charter being entered into with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The only reason for the delay is that the Government wish to give adequate consideration to this very important matter.

Is the Minister aware that the House also wants to give adequate consideration to any proposal which the Government have to put forward? When is he likely to be able to give us the White Paper which was promised, so that we know what the Government's intentions are?

The House will have the opportunity for which the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner), asks.

The late Government took nearly six months before a White Paper was laid before the House. This is a matter into which it would be most unwise to rush.

Is the hon. Gentleman telling the House that the Government are giving time for big business to bring pressure to bear in order to get commercial sponsoring?

That is a most ungenerous thought, if I may say so. The right hon. Gentleman will be pleased to hear that there is not a word of truth in it.

Do I understand from that answer that the Government are not giving way to big business?

The Government are not giving way to anybody in this matter. The question is that they require adequate time before the White Paper is laid before the House. The late Government took nearly six months. This Government have taken only a short time.

Order. I have called the next Question, and the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Mr. Hayman) has asked it.