HC Deb 21 March 1956 vol 550 cc1234-5
35. Mr. H. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to hostile and inflammatory broadcasts beamed to British East Africa and Zanzibar in particular by Radio Cairo; and what action he has taken or proposes to take.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

Yes, Sir. Although I would not wish to exaggerate the impact of these irresponsible broadcasts, protests have been made to the Egyptian Government on a number of occasions. During my recent visit to Cairo, I made it clear to Colonel Nasser that this sort of propaganda made a better understanding between Egypt and Britain all the more difficult.

Mr. Fraser

Would my right hon. and learned Friend not agree that the sort of broadcast being put out from Radio Cairo is inflammatory? If I may take an instance, there was the blessing of the souls of the martyrs of Kenya, referring to the Mau Mau, and the encouragement to those still living to continue fighting for the liberation of their country.

Mr. Lloyd

I agree with my hon. Friend.

Mrs. Castle

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give the House an assurance that, whatever the provocation which may be suffered from these broadcasts, he will in no circumstances consider jamming them? Does he realise that many of us believe that the decision to jam the broadcasts to Cyprus has already lost this country moral face in the world and that it would be disastrous if the decision were to be extended?

Mr. Lloyd

That, of course, is a very much wider issue than that raised in the Question. I think the main governing factor in this matter is whether there is direct incitement to murder. I think that in that case all steps have to be taken.

Mr. J. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that this mischievous stuff is being listened to perhaps more than he thinks, in the bazaars from Aden, through Somaliland and down to Zanzibar? I hope he will do something about this, because it is a thoroughly mischievous and a most dangerous thing.

Mr. Lloyd

I quite agree with the hon. Gentleman. I do not want it to be thought that I minimise its importance; I only said that its impact is not being as great as might be expected but I certainly agree that it is something very much to be deprecated.