Broadcasts (Interference)

Oral Answers to Questions — U.S.S.R. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Haire Mr John Haire , Wycombe 12:00 am, 27th July 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make representations to the Soviet Government to desist from jamming the overseas broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Mr. McNeil:

The jamming operations—

Photo of Mr John Haire Mr John Haire , Wycombe

I cannot hear the answer.

Mr. McNeil:

It must be due to the jamming activities of some hon. Members.

The jamming operations undertaken by the Soviet authorities are clearly part of their general policy of preventing any information from reaching the Russian people other than that which they select and issue themselves. My right hon. Friend therefore doubts whether any useful purpose would be served by diplomatic representations upon this subject.

Photo of Mr John Haire Mr John Haire , Wycombe

Is it not most exceptional in peacetime for one nation to jam the broadcast of another? Is there any evidence that any other nations are having their broadcasts jammed? Would my right hon. Friend say that their attitude to the B.B.C. is clear evidence that the Soviet are frightened to allow their workers to know the truth?

Mr. McNeil:

I cannot answer the first part of the supplementary question without notice, but I am afraid that the second part is completely true.

Photo of Sir Charles Taylor Sir Charles Taylor , Eastbourne

Have any representations been made? Is it not an admission of defeat not to make representations to the Soviet Government? Will representations be made if this has not already been done?

Mr. McNeil:

No formal representations have been made because it is not an accident. If a Government takes such deliberate action to shut out information, it is reasonable to assume that they are not likely to be moved by diplomatic representation from a major decision which seems to them of great importance.