The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

Keeping Schtum

The Daily Express‘ Political Correspondent reports on the fact that MPs are restricted in what they can talk about on television or radio. Apparently, although previously “a gentleman’s agreement”, the Government has laid down that “no MP can broadcast on legislation being discussed in Parliament from the time it is introduced to the time when it receives the Royal Assent or is withdrawn. Moreover, all discussion on radio or TV of subjects to be debated in Parliament within a fortnight is now barred by order.”

Correspondence from Charles Hill, the Postmaster General, is reproduced in The Times where Hill notes that “As regards the need of the BBC to find out as far as possible the future course of parliamentary business, the corporation will be expected to keep in touch with the Government Whip’s office, who will be glad to help them in this matter in every day.”

He adds, in a separate letter, “These requirements do not affect the normal reporting of Parliamentary proceedings in accordance with Clause 15 (2) of the License and Agreement.” For anyone not conversant with that particular paragraph, it reads:

The Corporation shall broadcast an impartial account day by day prepared by professional reporters of the proceedings in both Houses of the United Kingdom Parliament.

By contrast, the Daily Mirror‘s Len Jackson reports that the Labour Party’s annual conference, to be held in Margate between 10 and 14 October, may be shown on television.

A Staff Reporter from the same paper notes that on last night’s Panorama, Max Robertson reported on the discovery of a Saxon canal near the Thames in Old Windsor. Apparently, said canal runs across a loop of the Thames and is three-quarters of a mile long and was originally 30ft wide and 12ft deep. It was dug between 650AD and 800AD. The precise location of the site is being kept secret.

Today’s Thursday, so what’s being repeated today? Well, on Children’s Television there’s a comedy play Pots of Money starring Rosemary Scott and Walter Horsbrugh, which was first shown on 17 April, and later there’s a slightly speedier re-airing of The Happy Prisoner which was originally performed just over a month ago, on 26 June.

Elsewhere the Swiss National Museum in Zurich provides the challenges to Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Stuart Piggott and Hugh Shortt in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? and, in a short film, Gerald Moore introduces The Barber of Seville, which will be televised from Glyndebourne tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *