24. Major Lloyd
asked the Minister of Information whether he will make representations to the British Broadcasting Corporation with a view to the discontinuance of the playing of the Allied National Anthems on Sunday evenings on the grounds that the playing of these anthems has now largely served its purpose?
In view of the increase in the number of National Anthems which renders it impossible to do full justice to any of them within the time allotted, I have suggested to the B.B.C. that that period shall, in future, be devoted to the national music of one of the nations whose people are now fighting on our side. A different nation would be selected each week, and perhaps in some cases it may prove possible to combine two or three.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Have the Government suddenly become embarrassed by the suggestion that another National Anthem should be played on Sunday evenings? May I further ask the Minister whether he will consider playing the "Internationale" alone, as covering the whole of the countries concerned?
There has been no sudden decision taken in regard to this matter. The House may remember that in reply to a Supplementary Question put by the hon. 584 Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) some three or four weeks ago I suggested that this might prove the right solution, when the hon. Member was pressing for the inclusion of the National Anthem of another country. I said then that I thought the anthems were becoming too many in number, and this decision has been reached as a result of further consideration.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Do I understand that among the various anthems which are played each Sunday the Russian National Anthem will have its place?
My hon. Friend did not understand my reply. Instead of that programme, which will be discontinued, we are going to devote the whole period to the national songs of one particular country. We are no longer going to play the National Anthems.
§ Mr. McGovern
Is the Minister aware that this is a proletarian class war and that this song calls the workers to revolt against the ruling classes?