Lords and Commons Have Their Say
At five minutes to three on 18 July, Viscount Hailsham rose from his seat in the House of Lords to move ‘That this House approves the Memorandum on the Report of the Committee on Broadcasting 1960’, in other words the White Paper. The speech contained little to recall the vituperative onslaught he had delivered in 1954. True, he declared himself unrepentant; but added: ‘obviously one has learned, and I hope forgotten, something in the last seven or eight years’. He suggested that ‘the time has come to move away from the possibly somewhat superficial and academic generalising about paternalism, commercialism, monopoly and free enterprise which have dominated this subject so long, and to move towards a return to an agreed broadcasting policy based upon technical necessity and practical politics’. That set the tone. In the two-day debate that followed,1 and which on its first day went on till well after i i p.m., some three dozen Peers made speeches. Little was said that was original. Said Lord Longford: ‘A bell ought to be rung if anybody made a new point in this debate … I don’t think many bells will be rung during my oration’. But it was a good-natured debate much more in keeping with the traditional mores of the Upper Chamber than the near hysterical outbursts of moral indignation noted by Lord Salisbury in 1953.
KeywordsWhite Paper Moral Indignation Commercial Television Free Enterprise Labour Side
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