HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc605-6
44. Mr. Biggs-Davison

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.

Lord John Hope

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.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

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?

Lord John Hope

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?

Lord John Hope