From the 1927 edition of Pittmans Radio Year Book
TO THE 1927 EDITION
As foreshadowed in the Preface to the 1926 Edition of the YEAR
Boox, the British Broadcasting Company has now been taken
over by the Government and will in future be administered by,
a body known as the British Broadcasting Corporation. We
are glad to learn that the Executive will remain substantially
as before-because we believe that the staff which has built up
the broadcasting service to its present high standard is the one
best fitted to maintain and improve the service.
Two events stand out in what might be called the Radio
History of 1926-
(1) The fine work done by the Wireless for Hospitals’ Fund
which was started by the Daily News in 1925, and through
the medium of which nearly 40,000 beds in London hospitals
have been provided with headphones to enable patients to listen
to the broadcasting during their tedious hours of suffering or
(2) The successful demonstration by Mr. J. L. Baird of television, or seeing by wireless, as distinct from the wireless transmission of photographs or of shadowgraphs. Whether apparatus
which will enable listeners to see the artists whilst they are broadcasting will be obtainable within twelve months remains to be
seen, but we have the inventor’s word that this is highly probable.
(3) As regards commercial wireless, the completion of Rugby
and the beam stations for direct communication between this
country, Canada, Australia, South Africa and India make the
year 1926 one of notable progress.
Mr. James Swinburne, F.R.S., in an article entitled ” A Pessimistic View of Broadcasting,” gives some really original views
on the subject. We leave our readers to judge how far Mr.
Swinburne intends these views to be taken seriously.
Our thanks are due to many correspondents and certain reviewers for helpful criticisms and suggestions.
(errrors reproduced are in the original text is seems)
THE BROADCASTING CORPORATION
THE issue of this edition of THE RADIO YEAR BOOK synchronizes
with the change over in the control of the British Broadcasting
Company, which will henceforth be known as the British Broadcasting Corporation, thus preserving the magic initials
” B.B.C.” with, it is hoped,
some of the traditions of the
In its Report, which was
issued in March, 1926, the
Broadcasting Commit t e e
(1925) recommended, among
1. That the broadcasting service
should be conducted by a public
corporation acting as trustee for
the national interest, and that its
status and duties should correspond
with those of a public service.
2. That the Corporation should
consist of not more than seven nor
less than five Governors, all nominated by the Crown. the first Governors to hold office for five years.
3. That the Governors should
be persons of judgment and independence, free of commitments,
with business acumen and experienced in affairs.
4. That the entire property and ChairmaCorporation f the Broadcasting
undertaking of the British Broadcasting Company as a gong concern
should be vested in the new body, and that all existing contracts and staff o’
the British Broadcasting Company should be taken over.
5. That the Postmaster -General should remain the licensing authority and
be respdnsible for collecting the licence fees.
6. That the fee of ton shillings for a receiving licence should be maintained.
7. That the first charge on the revenue from licence fees should be the
paying e eGovernors
thGovernoan income thoroughly
4 RADIO YEAR BOOB
adequate to enable then to ensure the full and efficient maintenance and
development of the service, any surplus should be retained by the State.
S. That the claims of those listeners who desire a larger proportion of
educational matter, though relatively few innumber, should, if possible, be met.
9. That every effort should be made to raise the standard of style and performance in every phase of broadcasting, and particularly in music.
10. That although Parliament must retain the right of ultimate control,
and the Postmaster -General must be the Parliamentary spokesman on broad
questions of policy, the Corporation should be vested with the maximum of
freedom which Parliament is prepared to concede
11. That the Corporation should present an annual report to Parliament.
The British Broadcasting Company regarded the essential
recommendations of the Report as the natural result of the
policy it had endeavoured to follow during the period in which
it had exercised the stewardship of the broadcasting service.
Although the B.B.C. was technically a trade organization.
composed of a large number of wireless manufacturers, and its
Board, with the exception of the Chairman and Managing Director, was composed of manufacturers, it aimed constantly to
interpret its functions as those of a public service. Although the
preliminary capital required for the establishment of organized
broadcasting in this country was provided by wireless manufacturing firms, the directors who represented those firms on the
Board of the B.B.C. not only refrained from exploiting the broadcasting service to their own commercial advantage, but also
declined to offer evidence to the Broadcasting Committee (1925)
in respect of a continuation of the licence of the B.B.C. as then
In his evidence before the Broadcasting Committee (1925), the
Managing Director of the British Broadcasting Company emphasized the importance of greater latitude in every respect. He
suggested that while some existing restrictions might be removed,
it should be left to the new authority to continue to expand its
scope in consultation and agreement with other interests.
With Lord Gainford, the former Chairman of the British
Broadcasting Company, as Vice-Chairman of the Corporation and
Mr. J. C. W. Reith, Managing Director of the British Broadcasting Company, still in office as director- general of broadcasting,
many of the former traditions will presumably be maintained.
The full list of Governors of the British BroadcastingCorporation was announced by the Postmaster-General in the House of
Commons on October 25th, 1926, as follows : The Earl of
Clarendon (chairman), Lord Gainford (vice-chairman), Sir John
Gordon Nairne, Dr. Montague John Rendall, and Mrs. Philip