Broadcasting (Moslems).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 24th June 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Captain Alan Graham Captain Alan Graham , Wirral

asked the Minister of Information whether, in the interests of our national reputation for fair dealing amongst Oriental peoples and to diminish opportunities for Nazi propaganda amongst them, he will consider the appointment as co-head with Mr. Hillelson of the Near-East Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation of one of the two distinguished Orientalists and British Moslems, whose names have been sent to him?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I cannot accept the implication that our national reputation for fair dealing amongst Oriental peoples will be enhanced by an unnecessary duplication of duties in the B.B.C. Perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will forgive me for reminding him that one of those whom he calls the two most distinguished Orientalists is already engaged on full-time work for the British Government.

Photo of Captain Alan Graham Captain Alan Graham , Wirral

Is the Minister not aware of the necessity there is at the present time for doing nothing further to offend Moslem opinion, that we must take that into account, and that in order to do that it will be very worth while to bring back from abroad one of the two distinguished British Moslems whose names I have already sent to him?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

All these points have been taken into account. May I give the hon. and gallant Member this advice: that it also upsets Moslem opinion if encouragement is given from time to time to the belief that the B.B.C. or the Minister of Information shows too much favouritism to other races?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

asked the Minister of Information whether any Moslem is included in the staff of the British Broad-casting Corporation which is responsible for the broadcasting of news and information to Islamic countries; and, if not, whether one, or more, will be appointed as a mark of appreciation of the support to the Allied Nations given by Moslems everywhere?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I am grateful to my Noble Friend for giving me an opportunity to publish the fact that rather more than half of the B.B.C. staff concerned are Moslems.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Is-the Minister aware that there is a most unfortunate impression which is quite untrue, and which should be dissipated, in certain Moslem countries that in any dispute with Congress Hindus or Palestinian Jews there is a bias in favour of Hindus or Jews in this House and the Press? Is it not most desirable to correct that by speaking rather frankly to some hon. Members who tend to give that impression in this House?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I entirely agree with the sentiments expressed by my hon. Friend.

Miss Rathbone:

Is that not due to the fact that Jews have enlisted in far greater numbers—[Interruption].