22 MAY 1964, Page 15

SIR. 1 take issue with Quoodle. In your last issue,

With reference to Caroline,. he said 'Naturally the Labour Party want to stop people listening to what they choose to. but it .passes comprehension how Mr. Bevins thought he could get a similar policy through the Tory Party.' In other words, he was con- trasting diriei.ve Labour members with the freedom- loving Tories.

At about the time your issue was appearing on the bookstalls Tory members were making a deter- mined effort to induce the Postmaster-General to direct the BBC to refrain from showing The Open Grave. It' they had been successful it would have been the first time that such a direction had been given. On December 5, 1962, I sought- leave tinder the Ten Minutes rule to bring in a Bill to make it optional to submit a play to the Lord Chamberlain for licence and legal to perform an unlicensed play whether it had been submitted or not. I called the attention of the House to the fantastic situation 'which exists today in that a play which can be shown to millions of viewers on the television screen can nevertheless be prevented from being shown to a few hundred persons in a.,theatre. My motion was de- feated. by 134 votes to 77. All except two of the

majority (which, I regret to say. included Quoodle) were Tories. These two were balanced by two Tory members who voted with the minority.

It would therefore appear that even if, which I doubt, Tory members are in favour of freedom for the listener they certainly do not extend it to the viewer.


House of Commons, SW I