Ministry of Information
Orders of the Day — Civil Estimates, 1944.
Mr David Gammans (Hornsey)
I do not regard that as a solution at all. I think it is far better for us to allow commercial broadcasting, not for the reason my hon. Friend suggests, that he objects to someone making money out of it, but for the reason that you will get that element of competition in broadcasting which, in my opinion, is essential. I want to finish on this point. I feel that, when we come to review the work of this Ministry in its wider sense, more credit should be given to my right hon. Friend than, perhaps, has been given him. I believe we started this war by talking a lot of nonsense about propaganda. A lot of people suggested that all you had to do was to mutter some magic formula over the air, and Germany would at once collapse. That is simply not true.
The Germans are a resolute people and they went into this war with their eyes open, and they are not likely to be deterred from that purpose by some "Open Sesame" from Broadcasting House. The only thing which, in the long run, can make propaganda successful is success in war, and only so far as you have got victories to back you up, is your propaganda likely to be worth while. There is one test against which we can measure the work of the B.B.C. and the Ministry of Information. My right hon. Friend, all through this war, has stuck to one cardinal principle and that is that, whatever comes from this country, whether in the form of a leaflet or pamphlet, or from the B.B.C., it must be the truth, and I think that it is in achieving the result, that the world has learned to rely upon the accuracy of the information coming from this country, that the efforts of the Minister have been so successful.