Oral Answers to Questions — B.B.C. Overseas Broadcasts (Commonwealth Information)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 1956.

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Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell 12:00 am, 30th January 1956

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how much listening time in British Broadcasting Corporation overseas broadcasts to Communist and to other foreign countries is devoted to information about the nature, aims and achievements of the Commonwealth.

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

It would be impossible to give precise figures for the programme time so occupied. News bulletins for overseas listeners contain many references to Commonwealth affairs and these news items are further developed in commentaries and other programmes of a less topical nature.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

In view of the propaganda of other countries, is my hon. Friend satisfied that everything possible is being done through these broadcasts to make as widely known as possible throughout the world the merits of the Commonwealth system of association, which combines national independence with international co-operation?

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

Yes, Sir. We are well aware of the vital importance of this and we shall continue to look into it to see that nothing is left undone which should be done.

Mr. Maitland:

Is the Minister aware of the comments in foreign countries and elsewhere of the inadequacy of the publicity given by the B.B.C. Overseas and European Services to the proceedings, procedure and achievements of the Commonwealth? In a country such as Greece, which borders on the Commonwealth and is vitally concerned in our future they know very little of how we operate. Will he look into it as a matter of urgency and great importance?