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SPECIAL: The Parliamentary Broadcasting Debates of 1922, pt1

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Westminster, 1922: Parliament learns a new word, 'Broadcasting'. And they LOVE to argue about new words.

In this special, our cast of 20 brings to life EVERY broadcasting debate from 1922, no matter how big or small. No editing here. On our specials we outstay our welcome and we dig a little deeper. So approach this episode as if you're tuning into the BBC Parliament channel, only it's a century ago and they're deciding if and how there should be a BBC. Some parts may be an easier listen than others. You may need to tune your ears to their 'old-fashioned Parliament' setting.

But listen closely and your ears will be rewarded with never-before-heard insights into how and why we've ended up with today's broadcasting landscape: how the licence fee, protectionism, public service broadcasting, innovation, French weather reports, and so much more all jostled for attention a hundred years ago. MPs' decisions then affect us now.

While the engineers and broadcasters were pioneering this new tech, Postmaster-General Frederick Kellaway adopted a strict approach. You'll hear how the chaos of America was to be avoided, but how MPs differed on whether the PMG was taking too firm a line on this fledgeling invention.

We have eight debates of varying sizes to bring you - too many for one podcast, so part 2 will pick up the tale. We're grateful to our cast; in this episode you'll hear:

Paul Hayes - Sir Douglas Newton

Mike Simmonds - Lt Col Murray

Paul Stubbs - Mr Kennedy

Wayne Clarke - The Speaker of the House

James Maidment-Fullard - Mr Malone

Andrea Smith - Lt Comm Kenworthy

Adam Hawkins - Capt Guest

Paul Kerensa - Postmaster-General Mr Kellaway + Sir Henry Norman

The text is all courtesy of Hansard; this episode contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0 (https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/copyright-parliament/open-parliament-licence/).

You'll hear the following moments:

The first written mention of 'broadcasting' in Parliament, April 3rd 1922, ten days after Peter Eckersley seized the mic of 2MT Writtle, starting a broadcasting craze in Britain: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1922-04-03/debates/5fa46744-068c-45f7-be31-daef38c64cc6/WirelessTelephony?highlight=broadcasting#contribution-54b7ff39-2321-4503-8114-4a0625d01fc4

May 4th, the first verbal mention of 'broadcasting' in Parliament: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1922/may/04/wireless-messages-broadcasting

May 23rd, a fob-off answer while the 'big six' wireless manufacturers meet to thrash it all out, settling on one British broadcasting company: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1922-05-23/debates/f6abd513-b5f3-41e3-902a-0a07404868dd/WirelessBroadcasting 

June 16th, a reading of the Wireless Telegraphy and Signalling Bill is seen by some to be a power-grab by the Postmaster-General, but by others as a necessary part of the development broadcasting, something many MPs in the house, like Sir Douglas Newton, were keenly interested in: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1922-06-16/debates/4a1e7b29-0c59-4681-b86f-7acdd98a06e1/WirelessTelegraphyAndSignallingBill?highlight=broadcasting#contribution-71376b97-ca94-4d9d-938b-f6b2a727a4d6  

June 28th, Parliament started looking across the Channel for what radio could do next: Weather Reports... https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1922-06-28/debates/d34b1736-e64e-4547-8e75-e6bfcb5bf117/WirelessTelephony(WeatherBulletin)?highlight=broadcasting#contribution-2d1571f4-9a60-45e6-b820-c3ef39ce450b

July 26th, the PMG wants to keep British broadcasting British: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1922-07-26/debates/14a1dd4a
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