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sufficient time to make changes or corrections, and to delete profane, obscene, or indecent language.

Paragraph (b), section 326, proposes : The Commission shall have no power to censor, alter, or in any manner affect or control the substance of any material to be broadcast by any radio broadcast station licensed pursuant to this Act, and no regulation or condition shall be promulgated or imposed by the Commission which shall interfere with the right and duty of the licensee of any such station to determine, subject to the limitations of this Act, the character and source of the material to be broadcast : Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit the authority of the Commission in its consideration of applications for renewal of licenses to determine whether or not the licensee has operated in the public interest.

I would say it would be better if the Commission would immediately inform the licensee of any violation either by commission or omission and ask for an explanation and correct its practices, rather than let it go until the term of the license is about to expire.

The licensee might be ignorant of any violations, and it would be rather severe to punish him by depriving him of his opportunity for a livelihood and his investment, while perhaps not being willfully guilty of any violations of the law or regulations.

Section 330 proposes : When and if a radio broadcast station is used for the presentation of political or public questions otherwise than as provided for in section 315 hereof, it shall be the duty of the licensee of any such station to afford equal opportunities for the presentation of different views on such questions.

It provides, among other things, that neither the licensee nor the Commission shall have the power to censor, alter, or in any manner affect or control the substance of any program material.' It also provides: That no licensee shall be required to permit the broadcasting of any material which advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States by force or violence.

It provides further: That no licensee shall be required to broadcast any material which might subject the licensee to liability for damages or to penalty or forfeiture under any local, State, or Federal law or regulation.

It also provides that the licensee shall have the right to demand and receive a complete and accurate copy of the material to be broadcast a sufficient time in advance of its intended use, to permit an examination thereof and the deletion therefrom of any material necessary to conform the same to the requirements of this section.

This section 330 seems vague and contradictory. What are the “political or public" questions other than those provided for in section 315 ? Would communism be one of them? If so, must the licensee give time to the Communists or any of their related organizations, such as the fellow travelers and underground workers?

Must they, the Communists and so forth, actually say they will if they can overthrow the form of Government of the United States before the licensee can claim the right to refuse them the use of his radio facilities? There are those who claim that the right to overthrow or abolish the form of Government of the United States is provided for in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights; but there is no such provision in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.


There is a provision in the Declaration of Independence that peoples have the right to change their form of government or to abolish it. But that was written years before the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It was written when a foreign power governed the American Colonies. The purpose for which the Declaration of Independence was written and approved was achieved at Yorktown, Va., in 1781, and confirmed in Paris in 1783; and subversive elements should not be aided in any manner in nullifying the great accomplishments for which so many sacrificed their all. Radio facilities should be denied them in the promotion of their designs.

One part of this section 330 prevents the licensee and the Commission from censoring, altering, or in any manner affecting or controlling the substance of any program material, while another part of the section gives the licensee the right to demand and receive a complete and accurate copy of the material to be broadcast, a sufficient time in advance of its intended use, to permit an examination thereof and the deletion therefrom of any material necessary to conform the same to the requirements of this section.

Those two parts of section 330 seem to be contradictory. The section does not provide for any protection to the licensee from liability under State, Federal, or local laws, while paragraph (f), section 315, does.

The words "sufficient time in advance of its intended use" ought to be definitely specified as 24 hours or 48 hours.

A provision should be added to the bill to cover cases, where an organization not a duly organized established political party purchases time on a radio station, and the commentator talks on various current issues. During pre-election campaigns the commentator discusses the merits and demerits of opposing candidates, and urges the election of several of the candidates perhaps as many as six or seven or more not necessarily all of the same party. Cases like this are not covered by section 315, and it is extremely difficult to comply with the letter of the law, regarding "equal opportunities."

Section 334, first paragraph, reads: No person shall utter any obscene, indecent, or profane language, and no person shall knowingly make or publish any false accusations or charges against any person, by means of radio communication.

This is entirely proper. But who is to be held responsible! Does it apply to sections 315, 326, 330, 331, and 332? Shall the licensee censor and delete the talks of political candidates where obscene, indecent, and profane language and false accusations are contained in the script, which section 315 seems to prohibit?

An addition should be included in section 334, that licensee shall not be held liable for any objectionable language or statements mentioned in this section which might be interpolated by a speaker, and which is not contained in the script submitted to the licensee.

Senator CAPEHART. Are there any questions? Thank you very much. Did you have anything further to say?

Mr. LYNCH. Perhaps I should explain a little of what I said regarding write-ins.

Senator CAPEHART. Write-ins on ballots?

Mr. Lynch. On ballots. There are cases that have happened in my own town of Chicago recently within the past few years, where a

candidate, after being nominated duly in the primary, died before the election came up. And people set themselves up as candidates who had no party backing, but just campaigned for write-in votes. In fact, some time ago some of them were elected in that way. Now, in the case of the Communist Party, they are not allowed on the ballot, so that their names have to be written in. And if these things could be explained to broadcasters, it would be very desirable to all parties.

Senator CAPEHART. Are you opposed to this legislation as a whole?

Mr. LYNCH. No; I am not opposed to it as a whole; only just what I have talked about there.

Senator CAPEHART. You think some new legislation is needed at this time?

Mr. LYNCH. Well, we could have got along with the old act. I like 334 the way it is. I like it to be in there. Because the man who deliberately makes false and malicious charges over the radio should be punished in some way, when he deliberately does so. Especially that is the case when he ad libs, as I have mentioned there.

Senator CAPEHART. The radio station certainly should be protected there.

Mr. LYNCH. Yes. Because it happened some years ago that a broadcaster was fined $15,000 for an ad lib of two words, for something that was not in the script. But afterward, the higher courts reversed it.

Senator CAPEHART. Thank you very much, Mr. Lynch.

I believe we are going to recess now until 10 o'clock tomorro ing, to meet again in this room.

(Whereupon, at 1:10 p. m., an adjournment was taken, to reconvene at 10 a. m. Friday, June 20, 1947.)



FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 1947


Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in room 318, Senate Office Building, Senator Wallace H. White, Jr. (chairman) presiding

Present: Senators White, Moore, Capehart, Johnson of Colorado, and Magnuson.

The CHAIRMAX. The committee will please come to order.

I find that about the most difficult thing in connection with these hearings is to keep a schedule of witnesses, to prepare it and then abide by it for any great length of time.

There were scheduled for today Mr. Bannister, Mr. Pengra, and then the representatives of four of the broadcasting groups. However, a former Member of Congress, and a representative of a church organization are here this morning expecting to go on today.

Mr. Trammell is one of the four or five witnesses scheduled for today, and I wonder if it would be agreeable to him if I were to shift him until Monday and run in in his stead the two witnesses who have appeared somewhat unexpectedly this morning?

Mr. TRAMMELL. That is quite agreeable, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Then you may consider yourself free until Monday morning

Our first witness this morning will be Mr. Bannister. Have you a brief to file with the committee

Mr. BANNISTER. Yes, sir; I have filed it.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes. I have it here.


TIONS WWJ, WWJ-FM, WWJ-TV, DETROIT, MICH. Mr. BANNISTER. My name is Harry Bannister. I am the general manager of radio station WWJ, and its associated stations, which include an FM station and a television station, all owned and operated by the Detroit News.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you go on in your own way, Mr. Bannister!

However, I hope that in your oral presentation you will stay clear, so far as you can, of the matter contained in your brief. I hope your oral testimony will be supplementary and explanatory, rather than inclusive of matter that is covered in the brief. We will be very glad to hear you.

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