-I REGRET I did not read my I copy of the C.H. for the 15th November on the Sunday it arrived, or this letter would have been With you much earlier. It concerns an item'on your front page. headed: "Protest at BBC's Falling Standards" and which gave aS the content of a protest sent by the North Weet Branch of the Look
Listen movement to the Director General of the BBC and the Con
troller of Television Programmes. this document accused the BBC 0: violating its charter by: Immorality: the broadcasting of
jokes about sex.
Being irreligious; guying religious institutions and persons. Being anti-social: ridiculing heads of state and persons in authority.
It also claimed that the BBC was further bound to uphold Authority and to leave political action to the politicians.
I wish to state first of all, that, though I worked for five years as
a scriptwriter on the staff of the
Television Centre, my protest against the protest is that of a
Catholic rather than a freelance writer who still has a vested interest in the Corporation. Firstly. as was impressed upon me when I entered the service. the BBC's charter demands that it broadcast. Information. Education. and Entertainment in that order of
priority. though. after reading the
charter (BBC Handbook, 1961) I find it difficulty to see how even this much information about what should be broadcast, can be deduced from it. Nevertheless, wiser mipds than mine have seen it so apd I'm not
One to argue with them. The point is this; that the intention of the charter is to set up a broadcasting organisation. utterly independent of Government authority, and so far as can be arranged, utterly im
partial and balanced in its presentattoo of these three basic priorities.
The consequence of this is that the charges against it in this pro test fall far short of proving that
the BBC has violated its charter, and in my humble opinion. the
Look Listen movement have robbed their protest of any sting it may have contained by making this unfounded and grandiose claim. But even more than this. I am against this form of pious protest. as a means of attaining the ends which the Look-Listen movement wishes to attain.
I believe that the only conceivable result of their action is to
make things worse instead of
better: to make themselves ineffective as a serious vigilante com
mittee; and to damage the chances of responsible. professional. Catholic broadcasting organisations,
broadcasters, and writers. who might really affect the climate of opinion in the BBC and the Inde
pendent Companies, out oe which television programmes and programme fashions grow.
Much more space than I would be given here. would be needed to prove why this is so. As one in the business can assure the Look
Listen .movernent. it is so. As the Catholic father of seven young
children. I can assure them it is so. I can assure the members of the Look-Listen Movement that the ideals of Public Service Broadcast ing, I found them practised in
the Television Service, are of a uniquely high standard; probably without parallel in the world, and I beg them in their future deliberations, not to accuse the BBC of base motives where their own lack of vision is at fault: to be careful, when they have .a case, not to overstate it: to get a copy of the BBC Charter and read it: and finally, when they are tempted again to issue such a load of pious, claptrap as is contained in this report, that they do not presume to speak for a wider range of Catholic viewers and listeners than their own narrow-minded. and over zealous circle.
Herne Bay Anthony Coburn
(nice was English Jerusalem Bible, in your article "Using the R.S.V." 'Your readers might conclude that there is no alternative translation of the Bible from the original languages to be considered. am astonished that no refermade to the forthcoming In reality the Itible de Hootalert,. a work containing ample introductions and explanatory notes to the biblical text, and ul t st a throughoutnd ing he d achievement t w o s s of at lice l a outstanding ned Catholic biblical scholarship is to be published in this country. after years of unremitting effort by its editor Fr. A. Jones. It would be reassuring at least to be convinced that this fact is known.
Upholland C(Rolelve.g)eST,:i.77dLeSn. 'S. Wigan Lancs.
Telay I ask through your columns whether any individuals or societies have records of the annual number of Catholic boys in their care who have been classified as delinquent, maladjusted, or otherwise in need of special attention. I am hoping to gather information to discover whether there is a need for Catholic Action in the practical field of Child Welfare in which so many other denominations are already active.
73 Cardiff Road3,ohn Conway Llandaff, Cardiff, S. Wales.
For students from overseas far away from home and family, Christmas Day and Christmastime can be very lonely.
Each Christmas you have most kindly published a letter asking those who would be interested in offering Christmas hospitality to such students, to write to us at the address o ine again liiw*I would like to in vite those who wish to offer such hospitality and who are riot in contact with us already, to write to us stating what they are able to offer. It would be most helpful if we could have the offers by the second week in December, (Very Rev.) John L. Coonan 41. Holland r P National Catholic Chaplain f Overseas Students.