HC Deb 09 May 1951 vol 487 cc1940-1
26. Mr. G. Cooper

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many times have broadcasts in Ukrainian been sent out under the foreign broadcasts scheme in the last 12 months.

Mr. H. Morrison

No broadcasts in Ukrainian have been transmitted by the B.B.C. during the last year.

Mr. Cooper

In view of the fact that until they were forced into submission by the Russians, the Ukrainians were developing towards a democratic form of government and have always been hostile to Russian domination, does not my right hon. Friend agree that there are some 30 million potential allies behind the Iron Curtain, and could not broadcasts in their language be started in order to help them keep up their morale and resistance?

Mr. Morrison

I understand that practically all the Ukrainians can speak and understand Russian and that if we made a special arrangement with regard to the Ukrainian language, it is highly probable that something else would have to be given up. On a balance of considerations we do not think that it would be advantageous.

Mr. William Teeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that last week the Home Secretary told us that there were between 30,000 and 40,000 Ukrainians here, who could well broadcast and would like to listen to some broadcasts in their own language?

Mr. Morrison

If they are here long enough they will understand English. In any case, I should not like to let loose 30,000 or 40,000 Ukrainians to broadcast to the Ukraine.

Mr. Philips Price

Has not Ukrainian hostility been directed more against Poland than against their northern neighbours?

Mr. Morrison

We are getting to fine points now. I had better stop.

Mr. Teeling

In view of that outrageous remark by the Foreign Secretary about people who have done very loyal work for this country, I beg to give notice that I propose to raise this matter on the Adjournment.

Mr. Morrison

On a point of order. Is it in order, when an hon. Member makes an attack and gives notice to raise the matter on the Adjournment, for the Minister concerned thereby to be excluded from answering him?

Mr. Speaker

That is a difficult point. It is, of course, out of order to say "in view of that outrageous remark." The usual thing to say is "in view of the unsatisfactory answer."

Mr. Teeling

I withdraw my remark and substitute "very unsatisfactory answer," in order to see what the Foreign Secretary has to say.

Mr. Morrison

I based my remark solely on the numbers that it was proposed should broadcast.