Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information (Broadcasts to Switzerland).

– in the House of Commons on 22nd May 1941.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Minister of Information whether any representations were sought from, or made by, either the Swiss Government or any person in Switzerland with reference to the British broadcasts to that country which were recently terminated?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

These broadcasts were started as an experiment, and it was represented to us both officially by the Swiss Government and otherwise that the reaction to them in Switzerland was unfavourable. In these circumstances, and for the reasons stated by my right hon. Friend in his reply of the 14th May to the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir G. Broadbridge), the broadcasts were discontinued as from 7th May. I should wish to emphasise that this decision was taken purely on the merits of the particular case.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Is it not the case that the unfavourable reaction in Switzerland was entirely due to Nazi terrorism and propaganda, and will my hon. Friend consider the inadvisability of submitting to pressure of that kind and reconsider the question of continuing these excellent broadcasts, which were quite welcome in Switzerland?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

That is not the fact. It was not due to Nazi terrorism. The information we got from all sources was that these broadcasts were not really welcome to the Swiss people, who did not wish to start a broadcast war over their area.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

Is it not a fact that the Swiss people listen to many of our services from London?